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Lacrosse: Lambert alum Arnold named Mount Pisgah coach, fulfills dream
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Lambert's Trey Arnold attempts a shot Wednesday in the Longhorns' 10-7 victory against Etowah in the semifinals of the Class AAAAAA playoffs at home. - photo by Micah Green

Trey Arnold isn't sure whether he's the youngest head coach in the state of Georgia. 

If he isn't, he's certainly among the ranks. 

Arnold, 22, is the newest head coach and director of lacrosse at Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek. Just four years ago, Arnold was a senior on Lambert's undefeated state champion team, capping his prep career as a U.S. Lacrosse All-American.

"I feel extremely prepared," Arnold said. "So, even though I am young, I've had a lot of great mentors up to this point. People are asking me if I'm overwhelmed and all that, and I haven't had that feeling once."

More recently, Arnold was a four-year starter at Robert Morris — including a shortened senior season — where his 214 career groundballs rank him third in school history, and his .468 career faceoff percentage is the fourth-best mark at the school.

He enjoyed a banner start to his senior season this spring, boasting a single-season record .580 faceoff percentage in six games. 

But Arnold decided against pursuing his fifth year of eligibility and instead moved back to Georgia, where he took the job at Mount Pisgah, a stone's throw away from where he went to school.

Trey Arnold
"As an accounting major, I thought long and hard about going back and trying to get my CPA, because I need the extra 30 credit hours for my master's to get that CPA license," Arnold said. "I heard about the opening at Mount Pisgah, and I had a few options at other schools, and I was just like, I need to do what's best for me. I just love coaching that much that I was willing to take the risk and try to get to Mount Pisgah other than going back for that fifth year."

Arnold lists his mentors from the past — Rich Wehman at Lambert, his college coaches at Robert Morris — but he ultimately traces his passion for coaching back to his father, Chas Arnold.

"He coached me all throughout my elementary school and middle school career, and I kind of got the itch to coach from him," Trey said.

In fact, Arnold has coached lacrosse nearly as long as he's played the game.

While in high school, Arnold helped coach Lambert's local youth club and was involved in the summer coaching program. 

He was hooked. 

He knew he wanted to coach, and he joined 3D Georgia, part of the club lacrosse circuit, to gain more experience.

Arnold attributes much of Lambert's success over the past decade to the program's ground-up approach. He believes that's something he can bring to Mount Pisgah.

"I lived it," Arnold said. "So, I lived going through the youth program, the middle school program and then the high school program. You have to give credit to Lambert. It's the same throughout; all the wording, how you play, the expectations are all the same. I'm going to take it and run with it." 

Arnold continued working with youth lacrosse while at college, helping coach at a nearby high school named Pine-Richland, about 30 minutes from Robert Morris.

"Pine-Richland said, 'Hey, we're looking for college guys to come and teach the game the right way to our parents, to our kids,'" Arnold said. "Another teammate named Brad McCulley and I would just split the responsibility of middle school and youth, then just taught the game at the basic level."

The NCAA Division I Council voted in March to grant spring-sport athletes an extra year of eligibility, which meant Arnold had a chance to be a fifth-year senior, and a chance to return to the NCAA Tournament.

Instead, the call to coaching was too appealing to turn away.

"It was a tough one. You're trying to make up your mind between going back to Pennsylvania and going back for another year of school and playing, or starting your career and trying to make a name for yourself," Arnold said. "I'm very fortunate that Mount Pisgah was available and that I get to chase out what I want to be and do for the rest of my life, you know, be a coach and try to give back to a sport that's given me so much, that's taught me a lot, and hopefully I'm able to do that for my boys."