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Originally published May 3, 2014 at 6:34 PM | Page modified May 3, 2014 at 6:41 PM

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Guiding powerhouse Snohomish boys soccer is just one of Dan Pingrey’s many jobs

He serves as Chief of Patrol Operations for the King County Sheriff’s Office and coaches five soccer teams. And the job he has done in his 16 years as head coach of the Snohomish High School boys soccer program is testament to his work ethic.


Special to The Seattle Times

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Dan Pingrey is the definition of tireless.

He serves as Chief of Patrol Operations for the King County Sheriff’s Office and coaches five soccer teams. And the job he has done in his 16 years as head coach of the Snohomish High School boys soccer program is testament to his work ethic.

The 53-year-old Pingrey gives what he expects his players to give. That mentality has put the Panthers into the state tournament 14 of the last 15 years with another strong shot this spring.

“This is my crazy, insane, I’m-not-sure-how-I-do-it time of year,” Pingrey said of managing his full-time job and five simultaneous coaching gigs. “Most of this [soccer] stuff is at night, and I work doing the day. I have a U13 girls team in Snohomish and they’re in the Final Four next weekend.

“I just started training a U16 boys team with Crossfire Academy. Then, there’s Snohomish [High School] and Seattle Pacific University and occasionally, when they ask me, I help out the state teams.”

Pingrey’s formula, which is rooted in hard work, effort and time investment, has yielded a pair of Class 4A state titles for the Panthers, in 2000 and 2006. The program has made the state semifinals six times and was runner-up in 2003.

Fifth-ranked Snohomish (13-2 overall, 12-1, 33 points atop WesCo 4A North) looks poised for another state run after its league finale Wednesday at Arlington at 7 p.m.

The success, outscoring foes 47-8, has come despite a string of injuries, starting with senior forward Jose Gaspar breaking his ankle in preseason training, and subsequent lineup adjustments.

“We’ve been doing a lot mixing and matching with young kids stepping up,” Pingrey said.

Senior midfielder Uriel Herrera leads the Panthers with 15 goals and 10 assists and has grown as a leader. Emerging from the rash of injuries are a pair of freshmen, Jason Fairhurst (five goals, six assists) and 5-foot jitterbug Coleman French (one goal, one assist).

The likely source of his deep-rooted involvement in law enforcement and soccer was his father, Fred, who was captain of the King County Sheriff’s Department and a youth soccer coach for years.

Fred Pingrey, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1978 when Dan was 17, has a field named in his honor at Redmond’s Marymoor Park and a Fred Pingrey Memorial Trophy named for him in the Redmond High School boys soccer program.

“My dad got exposed to soccer in the late 1940s when he was a football player and he had broken his leg,” Pingrey said. “He was down at Green Lake and he was sitting there watching the kids playing soccer. So, they asked him to play goalie, since he couldn’t do anything else.

“That was his first exposure to soccer, and he liked it. He always thought it was a great sport. When it came into Lake Washington, he started being part of it. I remember as 8-year-olds, he said: ‘Play soccer. You’ll like it.’ ”

Dan Pingrey took the torch and more than carried on in both careers. He credits his father as his biggest influence in life.

Pingrey took his new law enforcement job at KCSO two year ago after serving as police chief for the City of Shoreline for four years. All told, Pingrey has spent 25 years associated with the KCSO.

Still, Pingrey finds time to spend on the soccer pitch. Part of it is his youthful attitude.

“I just turned 53, but I don’t think that way,” he said. “I don’t operate that way. I truly don’t. I’m the oldest guy on the staff [at SPU]. One of the guys on the [coaching] staff said his dad was two years younger than I am.”

Dan graduated from Redmond in 1979 and then Seattle Pacific University in 1983 after four years playing soccer there. Pingrey, who was drafted by the Seattle Sounders, is a volunteer assistant coach for the Falcons’ men’s soccer team.

His passion is teaching. He learned that from his father.

“I think he would be proud of me,” Pingrey said. “And, he would be, if he were still alive, he would be out on the field with me probably 99 percent of the time giving me pointers.

“But I’m a little bit more hard-nosed than he was. He had expectations and he demanded a lot out of us as kids. But he always made it fun, and that’s the part I always try to do.”



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