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The Miramonte girls lacrosse coach is heading to law school

Published on June 19, 2024
The Miramonte girls lacrosse coach is heading to law school
Jackie Pelletier Photo Mark Bell

When Lamorinda’s girls lacrosse teams began play last spring, there were two new head coaches: Giles Imrie of Acalanes and Stephen Lineweaver of Campolindo, while Miramonte’s Jackie Pelletier was entering her ninth season at Miramonte. At the end of this season, Pelletier’s teams had an overall record of 123-59 (67%) and two North Coast Section championships. Next year, however, Imrie and Lineweaver will be the coaches with the most experience as Pelletier heads to law school at UC Davis or Santa Clara.

For Pelletier, the eldest of four children from Andover, Massachusetts, sports were an important part of her upbringing. “My father and grandfather were coaches, so I played every sport under the sun, including ice hockey,” Pelletier said. “Lacrosse was the last sport I learned. I was in seventh grade and my father encouraged me to try it. It turned out that I fell in love with the sport because it was so different from anything else I had ever seen. Growing up, having my dad at all my sports games was really special to me because he was such a big part of my sport.”

Pelletier had great success playing club lacrosse, and in her freshman year at Andover she was recruited by Theresa Sherry, the head coach at the University of California and the creator of the Tenacity Project club lacrosse team. “I really wanted to go to a school that was a great academic school and try something new away from home, and Cal had a super strong lacrosse program at the time,” Pelletier said.

At the time, there was a budget crisis in Cal’s athletic department and they announced that the rugby, baseball, gymnastics and lacrosse teams were being eliminated. “I had spent countless hours pursuing this dream of playing college lacrosse and we were all a little blinded,” Pelletier said. “With a lot of fundraising and the threat of a Title IX lawsuit, the teams were reinstated after eight months, but it put a damper on the program because three of my teammates had already transferred and Coach Sherry resigned.”

Pelletier started her last two years on defense and she doesn’t look back on her career with any regrets: “I have so much love for Cal and being a collegiate athlete for four years is a big part of who I am and it really taught me how to could balance time. Looking back, this was the perfect choice for me.”

Pelletier’s academic focus was in interdisciplinary American studies, which was essentially a major in business marketing with a minor in sociology. “At Cal, instead of being locked into the specific classes of a major, I was allowed to design my own course load, as long as I met with an advisor and explained in writing why the classes I was taking would be combined into one focus,” Pelletier said .

In October 2014, after graduating, Pelletier began working as a compliance analyst at Duff and Phelps, a San Francisco consulting firm that worked directly with private equity firms, hedge funds, venture capital firms, 40 ACT funds and more, where he provided legal and carried out regulatory activities. research and analysis to support customer inquiries, as well as developing customer-specific policies and procedures.

“With my business and marketing degree, I thought this would be the focus of my work, but it was the legal side that ultimately appealed to me more,” Pelletier said. “After dealing with Title IX issues in college, I really started down the path of becoming passionate about legal studies.”

After graduating, Pelletier was asked to become an assistant lacrosse coach for Devin Combs on the Miramonte girls team. “I was still in the lacrosse competitive mindset and wasn’t ready to hang up my cleats and quickly agreed to come out and help coach.”

Without a car, Pelletier relied on Bart for transportation. “Looking back, it was quite a journey, but I had so much passion for it that it was really a no-brainer for me and that’s how I started coaching, a year as an assistant coach and when Devin moved on, I became the head coach. next nine years.”

Combs would eventually return to coach at Campolindo. “It was definitely fun coaching against Devin during those years as we remained good friends,” Pelletier said. “The Lamorinda community is so close-knit, it was a really fun experience that promoted the high level of the sport.”

Still, there was a period of adjustment and growth for Pelletier: “I wanted to coach, but I had no idea what it would be like to be responsible for a group of thirty teenage girls. The first thing I had to do was to find my voice and become an educator, taking into account the learning styles of my players and really teaching them. It really taught me a lot of patience because it can be difficult to work with that age group, but it was also so rewarding.

The decision to study law for Pelletier was a long time coming. “It was always in the back of my mind and my first boss out of college was a lawyer. I really enjoyed the use of language and the way you could apply it to reasoning, and I felt like my job would eventually lead me to law school Post-Covid it really started to dawn on me that sport and women in sport is something that has always been a big part of my life and I hope to emulate that and maybe get into something like that.”

It is said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, and Pelletier sees that parallel playing out in law with her coaching experience. “Getting a group of girls from one starting point to another, softening all the adversity and making them share a common goal, that was what brought me joy, whether we won competitions or championships or not. I developed the ability to keep my balance all of this that I truly believe prepared me for law school.”

Pelletier is still not ready to give up the game. “The game is still part of me so I don’t think I can go cold turkey. I have told the youth club teams and Miramonte that I would like to come out at least once or twice a week and help where I can.”