Roger Wallace couldn't have asked for a better farewell celebration.
In his final year as the Pine Creek girls' lacrosse coach, he made history. The Eagles finally won a state playoff game, and Wallace couldn't have been prouder or happier.
"That was awesome," he said.
In turn, his players were grateful to give him a proper sendoff. As if he needed more reason to celebrate, he's been named The Gazette Preps 2019 Girls' Lacrosse Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to a 15-2 season and a 15-12 win over Kent Denver in the opening round of the state tournament.
They ended their season with an 18-11 loss to Regis Jesuit — an eventual state semifinalist — in the second round. Pine Creek's only other defeat came in the season opener, 16-3, to Denver East.
After all those accomplishments, Wallace decided to call it a career.
Brittney White claims she has no big secret to all her success as a Pine Creek girls' lacrosse player.
He wants to focus on Brick Wall Fire Sprinkler, LLC, his fire protection service company. But he won't completely stay away from Pine Creek girls' lacrosse, so don't be surprised if he swings by a few games next season.
He plans to attend only as a spectator, and that's an unusual concept for anyone familiar with the sport.
Wallace started as an assistant in 1999 before he became the Eagles' head coach a year later.
He's built the Pine Creek program from the ground up — though the Eagles have experienced their ups and downs. According to MaxPreps, Wallace has guided Pine Creek to seven winning seasons since 2008.
His past four season, however, were some of his best. Pine Creek compiled a 52 wins and just 13 losses during that stretch.
Wallace said in the past few years, he couldn't have done it without his assistant coach Nate White and a solid group of players.
"It's not about me," Wallace said. "It's about them."
The Eagles are looking for their next coach, who will inherit essentially a brand new program. Pine Creek lost seven seniors — including midfielder Brittney White, who led with 80 goals — to graduation.
Nate White plans to apply for the head coaching position. Whether he gets it or not, he believes the Eagles program wouldn't be what it is today without Wallace's guidance.
"He's been everything to Pine Creek," White said.