Pine resigns after successful run at head of Grays Harbor College women's wrestling program

Apr. 3—After a highly-successful reign leading one of the top junior college women's wrestling programs in the nation, Grays Harbor head coach Kevin Pine has decided to step down.

Pine, who has been the Chokers women's wrestling head coach since 2019 and is coming off a National Collegiate Wrestling Association national championship, tendered his resignation on Monday.

"It's time to move on," Pine said. "I have a few month left of my term as (Grays Harbor County) Commissioner. This is going to be an opportunity to focus on that. ... This will free up some of my free time and I can devote that toward being a good public servant for my community."

Pine's resignation ends a prolifically successful era for the GHC women's wrestling program.

Under Pine's tutelage, the Chokers have had a long list of accomplishments.

Over the past five seasons, GHC has earned 40 NCWA All-American honors, eight USA Wrestling medals at the prestigious World Team Trials, five top-three NCWA national team finishes, a Collegiate Cup victory in 2023 and the NCWA women's national championship this past season.

"I've been real fortunate to be able to recruit some of the kids we've got to come here," Pine said. "We were doing something right. We had kids that would come here and, for the most part, everybody stayed for two years."

Pine was named the NWAC Northwest Conference's Women's Coach of the Year three times and once for the men's team he coached during the COVID season (2021). He was also named the NWAC National Women's Coach of the Year after guiding the program to its second national title in program history this past season.

But it's not the accolades that the Elma native said he will remember the most about his time at GHC, it's the memories — many involving his family — he was able to make returning to Grays Harbor County after previously coaching in the Las Vegas area.

"Some of the top (memories) would be sitting in the corner with my brother (and former GHC men's head coach) Phillip (Pine). I got to sit in the corner with my son Joshua (Pine) when he was the men's head coach last year. I got to coach my daughter, Tatum Pine, for two seasons and watch her win a national title and place at the world team trials as well. I got to coach against one of my brothers, Mike Pine, when he was the head coach at Big Bend Community College," Pine reflected. "Those are memories that I will forever cherish."

While Pine's departure leaves some big shoes to fill, he said he believed his assistant coach, Morgan Shines, is capable of continuing the program's high standards and hopes to see her get the job.

"Morgan is a phenomenal coach. Very detailed in her technique and is extremely knowledgeable. ... That would be my pick," he said. "We have some great kids coming back. ... It would be fun to see Grays Harbor College continue on with the level of success."

While he is stepping down at Grays Harbor College, Pine said he doesn't plan on retiring from the sport and left the door open for future opportunities.

"I plan on always being involved in the sport of wrestling, anywhere from youth wrestling to high school and college," Pine said. "It's my passion. It's my outlet. ... I'm thankful for being able to come back to Grays Harbor College because I've had some experiences here that I'll never forget."