Doug Kinsman, who recently led Wake Forest-Rolesville to a state championship appearance, has retired after 13 years with the program.
Kinsman has accepted a position teaching and coaching softball at Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah, about 40 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
His wife, who works for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Raleigh, was offered a promotion and transfer to Salt Lake City, which spurred the move out west.
“This is a sort of bittersweet situation,” Kinsman said. “When you’ve been in a position and at a school and have experienced as much success as I have at Wake Forest, it’s very sad to leave. When you tie in the community attachment – I’ve gotten to know some great people and they aren’t just my players or their parents anymore, they are an extended part of my family – I’ll miss them dearly.”
Kinsman helped lead the Cougars to 143 consecutive conference wins, a streak that spanned more than a decade.
The run was broken in April by a 2-1 loss to crosstown rival Heritage, but Wake Forest would go on to clinch a 12th consecutive league title and a second regional championship under Kinsman.
The Cougars fell short of a state title earlier this month, losing in two games to Alexander Central in the NCHSAA 4A championship game.
While Wake Forest never brought home the state crown in its three trips to Walnut Creek, Kinsman sees both the good and bad of leaving with that mark.
“It leaves me with a taste of unfinished business, but it definitely leaves me with a sense of satisfaction,” he said. “We made it to the state championship and we were the second best team in the state. I can leave knowing that I did everything in my power and my skill set as a coach to get Wake Forest to the pinnacle.”
Paige Quate, who played for Kinsman at Wake Forest and coached against him at the helm of Heritage, knows first hand the impact he has had on softball in the area.
“Their success has helped promote softball in the Wake Forest area and inspired girls to get involved and become more competitive,” she said. “The record that he helped set over there and we helped to break, it’s historic. The number of consecutive season undefeated records that they’ve had it’s amazing. ... People outside of just the Cap Eight know about the streak and know how monumental it was.”
Kinsman said he had some help along the way.
“I wish I could say it was all due to my great coaching skills, but I’ve had a run of unbelievable talent at Wake Forest,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll have great success when I’m gone ... If I could only experience half of the success or a quarter of the success that I had in North Carolina out in Utah, I’m a lucky man.”
“Sometimes change is good. I think it was sort of time to move on and experience some other things.”
Kinsman, who is an avid skier and outdoorsman, looks forward to taking advantage of the recreational opportunities in his new home state.
Wake Forest athletics director Mike Joyner, who took over the department a month ago, said the school will begin looking for someone to fill the softball coaching position.
“I didn’t get to know coach Kinsman very much, but I’m sure it’ll be a good opportunity for someone,” Joyner said.. “It’s been a good program.”