Gina De Santis, who played college soccer at Fordham University (N.Y.), has replaced Jeff Ingalls as the head girls soccer coach at Hampden Academy.
Ingalls retired last spring after three seasons with the Broncos and 12 years as the girls soccer coach at Bangor High School.
He led his teams to 14 Eastern Maine Class A playoff berths in 15 years.
“I’d been at it a long time and I wanted to spend more time with my wife Melissa (Guay). Now I can have dinner with her on time. It’s time to take care of myself and my wife,” said the 58-year-old Ingalls, whose coaching career has actually spanned more than 30 years and has covered a variety of sports.
De Santis is a native of Astoria, Queens, N.Y., and she moved to Maine four years ago to be with her fiance, longtime soccer referee Jason Pelletier.
She has coached at Major League Soccer camps for youngsters across the country.
The 33-year-old De Santis earned a degree in behavioral psychology from Fordham in 2001.
She coached in the Bangor soccer club system last year.
De Santis, who works for the American Heart Association, said she is enjoying her new job.
“So far, so good,” said De Santis. “The girls have been great. They’re enthusiastic and ready to go. They look pretty strong.
“I’m excited to get back into coaching. I did a lot of coaching when I was in my 20s. I want to give back to a game that gave me everything I have,” said De Santis, who is also on the Field4Kids Committee.
The Field4Kids is an indoor facility on the Beal College campus in Bangor.
She said she has already seen a lot of improvement from her team and expects them to improve dramatically over the course of the season because they have a lot of young players.
“I think we’ll be 100 percent better at the end of the season,” said De Santis.
Ingalls said he will miss coaching.
“I’ll miss the kids. I liked the practices but I loved the games,” said Ingalls, a Millinocket native who retired from teaching in 2004.
Schwarz returns to Hampden hockey
Bill Schwarz will have his second stint as the head hockey coach at Hampden Academy beginning this winter.
He will be the third coach in four years at Hampden Academy.
Phil Parsons, who resigned near the end of the hockey season, spent two years as the head coach after replacing Mark Walsh.
Schwarz, who had been a volunteer assistant at Hampden Academy, has had two previous coaching stints at Brewer High School and one apiece at Foxcroft Academy and Bangor High School along with HA.
“I’m like horse (manure) on the bottom of your shoes. You can’t get rid of me,” joked Schwarz, who also coached the girls soccer team at Brewer High School before stepping down after the 2009 season.
In his most recent hockey head coaching stint, he led Brewer to a 53-13 record from 2006-2009 and the state Class B championship in 2007.
“I’m looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun,” said the 65-year-old Schwarz, who guided Brewer to back-to-back EM Class B championships in 1994 and ‘95. “They’re good kids, they listen and they like to have fun.”