NEWS REPORT:LARRY RAY SUSPENDED
In a May 16 follow-up to the story below, the Tucson Citizen reported:
– Neither suspended coach Larry Ray nor suspended bench player Baillie Kirker were at practice Tuesday. They are not expected to be with the Wildcats for the regional.
Arizona Wildcats softball: Assistant coach Larry Ray absent after arrest
Longtime UA assistant softball coach Larry Ray is scheduled to appear in Pima County Justice Court on Wednesday after being arrested on suspicion of criminal damage domestic violence and two counts of disorderly conduct domestic violence last month.
Ray, 61, was arrested April 29 after smashing the rear window of his wife’s car with a sledgehammer following a dispute at their home, according to Pima County Sherrif’s Department reports obtained by the Star.
Ray’s daughter called authorities around 10 p.m., according to reports, saying the coach was “extremely drunk” and arguing with his wife.
Through his lawyer, A. Bates Butler III, Ray denied being drunk. Butler said Ray offered to take a Breathalyzer at the scene but was refused.
Ray had wanted to leave the house, but his wife took his keys because he had been drinking, reports stated. Ray then smashed her car, according to reports, which was already “totaled out” and sitting in their garage.
Butler said Friday he anticipates the charges will be “favorably resolved” in the near future and compared the window-smashing of a totaled car to “breaking broken bottles.”
UA spokesman Tom Duddleston Jr. declined comment.
Ray missed Thursday night’s win over Oregon State for what UA officials said were personal issues. He missed Friday night’s game and Saturday’s regular-season finale. His status through the postseason is unclear. Operations director Alicia Hollowell, a former UA pitcher, has taken over Ray’s duties.
Ray has coached 21 seasons over two terms at the UA, with a stint as Florida’s head coach in between. Ray served as the Wildcats’ acting head coach in 2004 and 2008 while Mike Candrea coached the U.S. Olympic team.
“He’s been a loyal and excellent coach for 22 years and was there to help out the university in their time of need,” Butler said.