Born Feb. 12, 1946, Sharron Backus is an Anaheim’s hometown girl who made good as an all-star athlete. A softball icon, she coached the UCLA women’s softball team for 21 seasons between 1975 and 1996, leading the Lady Bruins to nine national championships.
A member of the UCLA Hall of Fame, Sharron was architect of the UCLA softball dynasty and holds the record as the winningest Division 1 softball coach in NCAA history, posting a lifetime record of 847-167-3 (.835).
Backus and the Bruins brought eight national championship trophies to Westwood (seven NCAA and one AIAW) including an unprecedented three in a row (‘88, ’89, ’90). The Backus-era trophy case also includes four second-place trophies and three third-place awards.
Her UCLA teams played in the College World Series 16 times. Sharron coached a total of 53 All-Americans, including Player of the Decade (1980’s) Dot Richardson and Lisa Fernandez, the first softball player to ever win the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup as the top female collegiate athlete in 1993.
Sharron was inducted into the Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 1993, the National Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Hall of Fame in 1985. She was also named coach of the year four times in her career.
As a player, the Cal State Fullerton graduate had a legendary ASA career. A star shortstop, Backus was instrumental in seven ASA championships (‘61,’65 and ’71-‘75) and two international championships (‘72 and ’74) as well as three professional World Championships (’76-‘78).
During her amateur softball career, she played from ‘61-‘75 for the Whittier Gold Sox, and from ’64-’66 for the Orange Lionettes. Backus batted .268, .298 and .301 for the Gold Sox and was a second-team All-American in 1961, as the Gold Sox won the national title.
During her three years with the Lionettes, she was a first-team All-American in 1964 and 1966. She batted .285, .293 and .263 those three years.
Sharron spent the last seven years of her career with the Brakettes, achieving a .292 batting average (.361 in 1971 was her highest batting average) and earned All-America laurels three times.
While at Anaheim, Sharon was an all-round athlete. At AHS, she was a star player in softball, basketball, swimming (held the record for the 25-yard backstroke), basketball, hockey and badminton. Sharron was Girls’ Athletic Association president and named GAA Girl of the Year in 1963 for her outstanding play at shortstop.