Longtime University of Michigan head softball coach Carol Hutchins announced her retirement on Wednesday afternoon after 38 seasons in Ann Arbor.

Her 1,707 career wins are the most in Division I history.  During her career, she led the lady Wolverines to a dozen Women's College World Series appearances.  And in 2005, became the first coach to lead a school east of the Mississippi River to the National Championship.  That year, Michigan beat UCLA 2 games to 1 in the Championship Series.

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She also led the Wolverines to the nationals finals in 2015, but they lost to Florida in the title series 2 games to 1.

Hutchins said on Wednesday, in part:

"I want to begin by expressing that today I am filled with pride, love, humility and gratitude, I have served as the head coach of Michigan softball for 38 years, and I am incredibly grateful to the university for this opportunity of a lifetime. I will forever bleed blue."

She continued..."And to all the Women of Michigan softball, the alumnae who built this program since 1978, I am so honored to have been a part of your lives and journeys"

And finally, she said..."For today, goodbye. For tomorrow, good Luck. And forever, Go Blue!"

"Hutch" as most people called her, is a graduate of Lansing Everett High School.  And graduated from Michigan State University in 1979.  She was a part of MSU's AIAW national championship team in her freshman season of 1976.

U-M Athletic Director Warde Manuel paid tribute:

"Words can not adequately describe my appreciation for all that Carol Hutchins has done for the University of Michigan, the sport of softball, nor for the impact she has had on the lives of countless young people... Hutch is a force who elevated not only the sport of softball but generations of female athletes as a staunch advocate of equality...and I know that she will continue to impact lives beyond the game of softball. Carol Hutchins is a legend."

Hutchins was named Big Ten Coach of the Year on 18 different occasions and coached 20 Big Ten Players of the Year.

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