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Pinecrest Academy hires veteran college soccer coach
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New Pinecrest Academy soccer coach Domenic Martelli comes to the Paladins after stints at Georgia State University and Georgia Gwinnett College. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

Former Georgia State women’s soccer head coach Domenic Martelli has been named the head soccer coach of the girls and boys soccer teams at Pinecrest Academy.

Martelli will replace longtime colleague Chris Kane, who transitioned to athletic director at Pinecrest after leading both the girls and boys soccer teams to the state playoffs in 2015. Martelli will be just the third coach in Pinecrest’s history.

Martelli led the Panthers for 12 seasons, compiling a record of 109-106-25, before taking over as the first head coach for Georgia Gwinnett College in 2011, where he spent three seasons with the Grizzlies at the NAIA level.

Martelli, who played collegiately at Ohio State, has 18 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level, spending time as an assistant coach for the women’s team at Army for six years prior to moving to the Atlanta area. This will be his first stint in the high school ranks, though Martelli’s coaching background includes club instruction for the Atlanta Fire, a rising seniors team.

“The opportunity to start a program from scratch at Georgia Gwinnett College, along with the great administration there, was a great three years, but a career opportunity and a change was the decision for me to leave, and this has been a great six months pursuing the opportunity at Pinecrest,” Martelli said.

“He’s a great guy who really understands what the game’s about,” Kane said. “Yes, he’s a competitor and wants to win, but there’s more to the game than just results on the scoreboard. That’s what I’m really looking forward to him bringing, from a new perspective, the kids understand my philosophy, and the kids go out there and have fun, and Dom and I see the same philosophy.”

Martelli and Kane share 15 years of familiarity, which traces back to when Kane coached as an assistant at Georgia. Through collegiate competition, recruiting and club level instruction, the two built a friendship and kept in close contact.

“As we both got older, we actually had sons compete at the club level, so not only did we face off as coaches, but we faced off as parents,” Kane said. “When he shared with me his desire to leave college coaching he asked for my opinion. I told him the transition for me was great. And then when our sons played back in December I told him to keep in close contact with me.”

“I think from the administration down, from principals to dean of students and the athletic director, there’s a quality person at Pinecrest that I’m very excited to work for, and that’s what really drew me into this opportunity,” Martelli said. “The student population are tremendous kids both in and out of the classroom and I’m excited to be a part of that in their growth, but also for them to help me grow.”

Martelli will add to Pinecrest’s academics as well, taking over instruction duties as a math teacher. Martelli joins the Pinecrest community along with his wife, Kirsten, his daughter, Brielle, and son, Nicholas.