Wendy Pinta will return as coach of the Upper Arlington High School girls lacrosse team this spring, athletics director Jodi Palmer said.
Pinta, the team’s coach for 16 years until stepping down before the 2008 season, replaces Kim Rocheleau, who resigned July 19 after coaching the program for three years.
“I thought this was a great opportunity,” Pinta said. “I really missed the high school game. This opportunity presented itself and it was perfect timing for me. I’m eager and excited to be back.”
Pinta inherits a program that went 69-15-1 during her absence. Lynda McCandlish, a 2002 UA graduate, guided the Golden Bears to a 20-2 record and the Division I state championship in 2008. Rocheleau, a former Ohio Wesleyan coach, took over after McCandlish departed and guided the Bears to a 49-13-1 record, two OCC titles and three state runner-up finishes before resigning.
UA finished 16-5 last spring, losing to Medina 14-13 in overtime in the Division I state final.
During Pinta’s tenure, the Bears went 213-78-12 and captured state titles 2002, 2004 and 2005. UA also was nationally ranked in the top 25 by U.S. Lacrosse Magazine and Lax Power in those years.
In 2009, Pinta was inducted into the Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Pinta also served as a girls lacrosse coach at Hastings Middle School for three years and as a coach with the Midwestern Force club lacrosse team.
“It was very important to get someone who had some experience with the program and who knew the Upper Arlington community,” Palmer said. “Wendy has maintained contact with some of our athletes through the club program.
“Hopefully it will make an easy and smooth transition. That was something that was real important to us.”