ST. MARYS — Paul Dingledine oversaw the building of a girls soccer program that went from fledgling to fixture at St. Marys Memorial High School.
Dingledine stepped down from his head coaching position this week after 10 seasons and a 133-43-18 record on Wednesday.
“I just felt like we had come full circle and the program could use some new blood,” said Dingledine, who led the Riders to an 11-5-2 season this fall with a trip back to the district tournament. “We had a good season, but I just felt like the program could use a new voice.”
Dingledine took over a four-year old program in 2004 that had gone 29-35-5 in the first four early seasons. As Scott Fannon helped build the program as the head coach from 2002 and 2003, Dingledine was the JV coach those two seasons before taking over the head coaching position for 2004.
His early teams were young and gained experience in a Western Buckeye League — which first recognized girls soccer in 1998 — that was quickly earning respect as one of the region’s toughest neighborhoods.
“When I took over in 2004 there was a good young group of players coming up,” Dingledine said. “They were inexperienced, but by the time they got older they were part of that group that had that success later.”
In 2006 St. Marys moved above .500 in WBL play for the first time at 4-3-1.
Dingledine from there built a program that twice won Western Buckeye League titles (2008 and 2010), twice won district championships (2008 and 2009) and won 17 or more games every season from 2007 to 2010. St. Marys won 11 or more games from 2006 through the end of his tenure.
Dingledine’s team had its ultimate campaign in 2009. The Roughriders went 18-4-1 and made it to the state's final four in Division II. The Roughriders won a thrilling regional semifinal over Akron St. Vincent St. Mary 2-1 and then advanced to the state’s final four with a 1-0 victory in a shootout over Millbury Lake at Findlay. St. Marys bowed out to Hathaway Brown in a 2-0 loss that was later changed to a 1-0 win via forfeit after the season when Hathaway Brown was found to have played with an ineligible player.
“It was definitely a thrilling season,” Dingledine said. “I think at the time we were the first team from the Northwest district to make it to state.”
Dingledine got into soccer through his son and daughter, coaching them at the club level and gaining in experience before moving to the high school level in 2002.