California head coach Diane Ninemire has stepped down from her role, effective immediately, the school announced on Tuesday night. Ninemire cited health reasons as the motive for her departure.
Ninemire spent more than three decades leading the Bears, amassing more than 1,350 wins and the only National Championship in program history. She led the program to the Women’s College World Series a dozen times, reaching the sport’s pinnacle with the Women’s College World Series title in 2002.
“I’ve loved this job from my first day at Cal,” Ninemire said. “I’m stepping down because of health reasons that are preventing me from being able to do the job at the level I feel our program and student-athletes deserve. I’m going to take time now to work on things that I need to do for my personal well-being. My love for this program will never cease. And I hope that I’ll be able to come and support the Bears as frequently as I can. We’re looking forward to having a new facility just around the horizon, which will usher in a new era for Cal softball. I think that the program has a very bright future, and I want the very best for Cal and its softball program.”
Ninemire’s 1,355 career victories are the most of any coach in the Bears’ athletic program history, while her national title in 2002 was the first for a women’s sports at California. She twice was named the National Coach of the Year, and four times the conference’s Coach of the Year.
Associate head coach Tammy Lohmann will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.