Class of 2011 - Player

Wende (Coates) Pinz

Wende (Coates) Pinz

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Career Information

Club

1982-1985
1985-1990, 1996
1991
1992

U.S. National Championships

1x U.S. Club Runner Up (1990)

Awards

4th place in the U.S. Open Frisbee disc championships (1984)

Set world record in self caught disc flight (1984)

3rd place in the U.S. Open Frisbee disc championships (1985)

4th place in the U.S. Open Frisbee disc championships (1986)

1st place in the U.S. Open Frisbee disc championships (1987)

1st place in the U.S. Open Frisbee disc championships (1988)

In sports Illustrated for Faces In The Crowd for my U.S. Open Championship (1988)

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.

Contributions & Service

  • 1980s: Taught an Ultimate class for the boy scouts and helped with a high school physics class on different throws and spins of a frisbee
  • 1980s: Performed a a halftime show for the Chicago Bulls: kept a frisbee and hackysack moving the whole show
  • 1984-1988: Competed in the U.S. Open Frisbee Disc Championships: distance, golf, accuracy, self caught flight, double disc court, discathon and freestyle.
  • 1986: Safari - 1st at Boulder
  • 1990s: Performed school demos and teaching of Ultimate
  • 1993: Safari - 1st at Cal States
  • 1999: 2nd at Florida Goaltimate tournament
  • San Diego Beach Ultimate tournaments - various finishes (inc. 1st)

Championship Tournaments

U.S. National Championships

Year Team Placement
1986 Safari Club Women 3rd
1987 Safari Club Women 3rd
1990 Safari Club Women 2nd
1991 Condors Club Women 3rd
1992 Block Party Club Women 3rd
1996 Safari Club Women 7th

World Championships

Year Tournament Team Placement
1993 WUCC Madison, Wisconsin Block Party Club Women 6th

Interview

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

Handler my entire career

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

Wende's Teammates