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WendeCoatesPinz HoF 2011  

WENDE (COATES) PINZ

Inducted: 2011 - Player

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Wende is arguably one of the best throwers in the history of the game. The beauty and consistency of her skills is beyond those of any player in her era, both men and women.  Picking apart a zone defense in strong winds was her forte; her throws were strong on both sides and her deep throw was amazing. Wende was one of the most feared offensive players and was always covered by the best defensive players.

A compliment to Wende’s throws was her core athleticism; she could run, dive, catch and jump.  She played great defense and had excellent field sense.  Wende would typically come up with a couple of key defensive plays per game; she always knew where the disc was and loved to poach. With a strong will and work ethic; Wende was told she is "The Michael Jordan" of Ultimate!

Wende played with fierce intensity but was always a great sportsperson, never a rah rah player.  Wende put her spirit, heart and soul into the sport of Ultimate. She loved Ultimate and it showed with her endless commitment to her teammates and community to improve our sport.  She treated all her teammates and opponents with respect. Wende showed true spirit of the game.

Wende started her Ultimate career in 1982 and played competitively from 1982-1997. She played in San Diego on the Ultimates, Windjammers, and Safari. Wende also played on combo teams Block Party and the Condors. 

Wende played at the highest level of competition at Nationals in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992 with Safari.  Their best team showing at Nationals  was in 1990 with a 2nd place finish against the Maniacs. Wende has also competed at Worlds, Goaltimate tournaments, and Beach ultimate tournaments.

Wende lives in San Diego, California. She is married to Greg Pinz, a long time ultimate player with UCSD Entropy, Spinoffs and Iguanas and has two sons, Kent and Troy.


Playing Career | US Nationals | WFDF Worlds | Contributions & Service | Other Accomplishments | Interview

Playing Career 

  • I started playing disc with my brother when I was about 10 years old, 1974. We bought the bright orange (80 mold) disc with U.S. Open Champions Judy Horowitz and Scott Zimmermans name on the disc. We would play down at beach for hours and my brother always made me stand down wind. We only had the basic throw but we could catch it under our leg and behind our back. We could also skip it off the sand. This was from 74-82.  My senior year in high school was 1982. One day I brought my frisbee in for free play P.E. day. This girl saw me throwing it around and wanted to play catch. It was the end of the school year and she told me she just started playing on a frisbee football team and I should come check it out. Well my first day at frisbee "football" the coach Bill Tulin had me do the kickoff which I soon learned was called the Pull. I was hooked and played ultimate until 1997 when I was pregnant with my first son. The first team name was the Ultimates. We were just a bunch of women from around the area who were interested in playing ultimate. We were sponsored by a radio station called B-100. They gave us white polo shirts and dolphin shorts to wear as our uniform. We did some halftime shows for the then San Diego professional soccer team The Soccers, San Diego Padres and the Clippers San Diegos Pro basketball team. We were then teased and called the show team. When I started there were 3 San Diego womens teams. A club team called Fusion, UCSD's team Entropy and the Ultimates. We soon began to beat the other San Diego teams and we were no longer made fun of. In 1985 we merged with the UCSD team and became the Windjammers. Eventually we became Safari which consisted of the top players from the San Diego area. Safari is still active and is currently headed to Sarasota, FL this weekend for Nationals.

     

US National Championship Tournaments

Name    City    Year    Venue    Placing
Safari   San Diego, CA   1986   Houston, TX   3rd
Safari   San Diego, CA   1987   Miami, FL   3rd
Safari   San Diego, CA   1990   West Palm, FL   2nd
Condors   Santa Barbara, CA   1991   Sanford, FL   3rd
Block Party   San Diego / Santa Barbara /
Los Angeles, CA
  1992   San Diego, CA   3rd
Safari   San Diego, CA   1996   Plano, TX   7T

     

  

 

HoF Pinz Freestyle87 

HoF Pinz 85pulling  


WFDF World Ultimate Championship Tournaments

Name   City    Year   Venue   Placing
Block Party   San Diego / Santa Barbara / 
Los Angeles, CA
  1993   Madison, WI   6th


Other significant tournament experience:

  • 1986: Safari - 1st at Boulder
  • 1993: Safari - 1st at Cal States
  • 1999: 2nd at Florida Goaltimate tournament
  • San Diego Beach Ultimate tournaments - various finishes (inc. 1st)

 

Contributions and Service 

  • In the mid 1980's I did an Ultimate class for the boy scouts. I helped with a high school physics class on different throws and spin of a frisbee. I did some school demos and teaching of Ultimate in the early 1990's. Just this past year I have worked with three different elementary teachers and their class on how to play Ultimate. They really enjoyed the history of the frisbee when I brought in my pie tin from the original Frisbie Pie Company.


Other Accomplishments 

  • I competed in the U.S. Open Frisbee disc championships from 1984-1988. I competed in all events; distance, golf, accuracy, self caught flight, double disc court, discathon and freestyle.  

    I placed 4th in the 1984 and set a world record in self caught flight that has since been broken. I placed 3rd in 1985, 4th in 1986 1st in 1987 and 1st in 1988. It was a great experience to compete with women from all over the world at the Open. Also in 1988 I was in sports Illustrated for Faces In The Crowd for my U.S. Open Championship.  

    I traveled to Chicago to do a halftime how for the Chicago Bulls in the late 1980's. We kept a frisbee and hackysack moving the whole show.

 

 

 
HoF Pinz 95   HoF Pinz 81


Interview

Q: What position(s) (e.g., handler, deep cutter. middle middle) did you usually play?

A:  Handler my entire career

Q: Describe your major accomplishments – both as a teammate and an individual player?

A:  When we as Safari finally made it to Nationals in 1986. Also making to the finals at Nationals in 1990.

Q: Why did you stand out among the elite players of your time? What was it that you did best, or were known for?

A:  I stood out for my handling abilities most of all. I was a handler and pulled for my team from the first practice I ever went to. I give my brother credit because he always made me stand down wind at the beach and I believe that made me a strong thrower.  The wind was always my friend and I hoped it would pick up for the finals. I think I had one of the best throws in the wind too. I think I am most famous for my hammer.  I could throw one from anywhere on the field and quite far. I was a very powerful and accurate thrower. I loved all types of throws and could break the mark and get the disc to wherever I wanted to. I was quick on my toes and had great hands. I was an all around player on defense, not afraid to lay it out and I loved to poach.

Q: What was your role with the best (or most overachieving) team that you played on?

A:  I was team captain for many years. I was a leader, usually quiet but led by example.  I was told I was the Michael Jordan of Ultimate.

Q: What year was the peak of your career? If you continued playing after your peak years, how did your role change? In what year did you stop playing at the top competitive level?

A:  From 1982 to 1996 I feel I was one of the best in women's ultimate, both offensively and defensively. Most teams would put their best players to cover and try to shut me down. A lot of teams would foul purposefully to try to deny my throwing deep threats.

I was 27 years old and in the best shape of my life at nationals in West Palm Beach Florida. We flew in very late as usual, hardly any sleep ,on the fields bright and early.  It wasn't even halftime yet and I laid it out trying to grab a down the side line pass that was fading out of bounds. I caught it and broke my collar bone.  I stopped playing competitively in 1996, when started my family.

Q: Why do you believe you are worthy of being inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame?

A:  I feel I was one of the best throwers from the West coast. I think I am worthy as a player. I feel I always contributed on the field as a positive player and someone my teammates could look up to and learn from. I never won at Nationals and I feel like no one really knows who I am. Ultimate was my life for all those years and it made me who I am today. I made life long friends and have so many wonderful memories  My boys are now traveling on hockey teams and I tell them they will remember these days.

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