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Local coaches win national rugby coaching award


Last updated 12/13/2012 at Noon

Fallbrook Girls Rugby club coaches, from right, Craig and Marin Pinnell and assistant coach Paul Bell are pictured in the Nov. 2012 issue of Rugby Magazine after the Pinells were named U.S.A. Women

FALLBROOK – Fallbrook residents Craig and Marin Pinell, who coach with Fallbrook Girls Rugby Club, were recently named the 2012 U.S.A. Women’s Rugby Coaches of the Year.

A story on the “So Cal Pinells” was run in the November 2012 issue of Rugby Magazine, along with acknowledgement to assistant coach Paul Bell, also of Fallbrook.

The article states, “People say repeating a championship is more difficult than the first. …It wasn’t an easy road for Marin and Craig Pinnell ... who lead San Diego’s Fallbrook Girls’ High School team. They decimated the competition in 2011, but returned to the pitch that fall having graduated all but a handful of returners. But when they showed to the national championships in May (2012), there was no denying that the team had reloaded. Fallbrook repeated their title easily, defeating Lakewood in the final.”

That wasn’t the end, however, as the article states, “Weeks later, they packed their bags for Philadelphia to compete in the first-ever USA Sevens High School Challenge. ...There, the East Coast watched as the Warriors dominated the field, unleashing their brand of wide-open, fast-streaking rugby on opponents. Fallbrook took home that title, too.”

Craig and Marin also help coach the Southern California Griffins, and in 2012 their U17 and U19 teams took the top titles at the West’s All Star Tournament.

The article finished with “The Pinnells seem to have the Midas Touch – turning great athletes into great rugby players.”

The 2013 season begins in January, and practices began in November after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The Pinnells continue to take registration packets from girls in middle school through high school.

The Fallbrook Girls Rugby Club is a completely volunteer run organization, and fundraising is ongoing.

During the month of December, team members will be selling bags of FGRC-labeled ground coffee, containers of Ghiradelli cocoa, and containers of spiced chai at Joe’s Hardware on Saturdays, Dec. 15 and 22. The team members are also taking orders for Marie Callender’s pies for Christmas, and Earth Candles for the holidays. For more information, contact the coaches at


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