On Sat., May 3rd, when Fresno State hosts Colorado State, a formal ceremony will be held, changing the name from Bulldog Diamond to honor Wright, the winningest head coach in Fresno State and NCAA Division I softball history.
In the '98 NCAA softball championship game, Fresno State defeated then-No. 1 ranked powerhouse Arizona in a 1-0 thriller, snapping the Wildcats' 29-game winning streak in the process. Wright's career as the Bulldogs head coach ended when she retired at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Under her guidance, Fresno State earned 1,294 wins, a .742 winning percentage, 17 conference titles, and had more than 50 softball players earn All-American honors.
Fresno State was ranked in the nation's Top 25 polls at some point in all 27 years Wright coached the Bulldogs. During one stretch, the Bulldogs were ranked for a then-NCAA record 178 consecutive polls, including 154 times in the nation's Top 10. During her tenure, Bulldog Diamond expanded into one of the nation's premier facilities, with full chairback seating -- something that was unheard of in the mid-1990s in the sport of softball.
Bulldog Diamond led the nation in attendance 13 different years during Wright's career. It still holds the NCAA record for largest regular-season, on-campus crowd, set in 2000 when Fresno State drew 5,724 fans to watch the Bulldogs face Arizona. Bulldog Diamond is also home to the largest single-season attendance record, which still stands today. Fresno State drew 55,746 fans in 1999, the year following the school's national title.