Former Sonoma State softball coach Jaime Wallin, who resigned to become the head coach at Division I Lafayette College earlier this month, said it was a difficult decision to leave Rohnert Park.
OK, I know, what else is she going to say, right? But Wallin has some legitimate reasons to regret leaving.
For starters, she didn’t quite finish the rebuilding job she began.
Before her arrival at SSU in 2006, the Seawolves had losing seasons in
seven of the previous eight years and hadn’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 1995. In Wallin’s four-year tenure, SSU made two NCAA Tournament trips and its 36-25 record this past season was its best in 12 years.
Looking to 2010, the Seawolves graduate ace Lindsay Emmel, the CCAA Pitcher of the Year, but they will add what Wallin believes could be the best recruiting class in the nation. The class is headlined by Sierra College’s Rochelle Vanyi, a slugger who was the state’s JC Player of the Year this past season.
But Wallin won’t be around to see what Vanyi, and the rest of the Seawolves, will do at SSU. A New York native who attended Queens College, Wallin wanted to get closer to her family and Lafayette, located in Easton, Penn., is less than 100 miles away.
“The top priority was having the opportunity to get closer to family,” Wallin said. “That was a definitely a huge factor in this. Going to a Division I school was just an added bonus more than anything else.” 
Josh Musselman, Wallin’s top assistant at SSU, is not a candidate to replace her. Musselman has also left the program to attend graduate school in Southern California.
Seawolves athletic director Bill Fusco said he will start reviewing applications next week. He hopes to have a new coach in place by early September.