Two months after long-time JSerra girls’ basketball coach Mary Rossignol stepped down, the Lions were still looking for the right replacement.
Santa Margarita, meanwhile, didn’t waste any time filling their void after Craig DeBusk confirmed his resignation as girls’ basketball coach on March 6. A week later, the school announced the hiring of Christina Wear-Marinacci as coach of the Eagles.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Santa Margarita Catholic High School family,” Wear-Marinacci said. “I see so much potential within this school and program.”
Wear-Marinacci won’t be the only first-year girls’ basketball coach in the Trinity League next season, but she’ll be the most decorated former player.
She burst on the scene as a freshman at Foothill High School in Santa Ana during the 2005-06 school year. She was named the top freshman in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, and then repeated that honor as a sophomore.
Wear-Marinacci was also a two-time first-team all-Orange County selection by the OC Register and ended her high school career by joining 25 other players from across the nation in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game in Miami.
She moved on to USC, where she was a four-year starter for the Trojans as a 6-foot-1 power forward.
Wear-Marinacci then spent three seasons playing professionally overseas, the first two in Luxembourg and the final one in Madrid, Spain.
“Coach Wear-Marinacci has such a winning pedigree herself, I know that will carry over to our girls and this program,” said SMCHS Athletic Director Annie Garrett. “She will be such a good role model and mentor for our student-athletes as she helps them prepare for the next phases of their lives, on and off the court.”
Rossignol stepped down in mid-March after guiding the Lions to the playoffs all 12 seasons at the school. She reached the Southern California Regionals in six of those years.
Rossignol had a 220-143 overall record at the school and won at least 20 games seven times, but the school was looking for even better results.
“It is a critical time in the development of the girls basketball program and (we) believe it is in the organization’s best interest to make a change,” JSerra athletic director Chris Ledyard said in a press release at the time.
Two months later, the Lions were still looking for the right fit.
Just as the person who eventually replaces Rossignol will have big shoes to fill, Wear-Marinacci will inherit a program that’s accustomed to winning games, but has struggled to finish near the top in the ultra-competitive Trinity League.
The Eagles went 81-63 in five seasons under DeBusk, but just 5-31 in Trinity League play.
DeBusk guided the Eagles to a 20-11 mark this past winter and a trip to the CIF State Southern California Regionals. Santa Margarita reached the CIF-SS Division 2-A semifinals in 2018-19 but lost to Oxford Academy and then to Flintridge Prep in the Division 2 regionals.
No doubt Wear-Marinacci will bring her job back home with her as well.
She’s married to David Wear, who starred at Mater Dei with his twin brother, Travis, from 2005-09. The 6-foot-10 forwards each signed with North Carolina, but both transferred to UCLA after one season.
David Wear also has played professionally, including brief with the Sacramento Kings.