By John Best
Other than a single trip to Florida, Jaime Wohlbach spent most of her youth within the confines of Pennsylvania’s borders.
As an adult, her passion for the game she loves has unfastened any territorial constraints and sent her on a journey that has crossed oceans and spanned four continents.
Wohlbach, a Saucon Valley High School softball standout, has employed her athletic skills and wisdom into a playing and coaching career that has brought her around the globe.
Jamaica, Holland, Italy, Greece, Peru, Columbia, Australia and New Zealand are just some of the places Wohlbach has played or coached softball.
Growing up in the Lehigh Valley, Wohlbach said she loved softball, but didn’t imagine it would take her to across the globe.
“My entire family is in Hellertown,” Wohlbach said, “and nobody’s really left Hellertown.”
Wohlbach graduated from Kutztown University in 2000 having amassed several athletic and academic accolades. She spent the next several years playing professional softball around the U.S. and spent time as an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College.
Through her various softball contacts, Wohlbach got wind of a potential opportunity to play for a professional team in the Netherlands, which toured Europe. Her tryout was successful.
“Being in an environment where they didn’t speak English was scary,” Wohlbach said. “It was a culture shock.”
Wohlbach conquered those initial trepidations, playing professionally for several years for teams in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Italy.
Due to her family heritage, she acquired dual citizenship in Italy and also played for its national team.
“My professional career was one of the best experiences in my life,” Wohlbach said. “I was playing with the best of the best in the world.”
Back stateside in 2007, Wohlbach became the head coach at Iona College in New York State. She led that team to win the conference championship in 2010 while earning the conference’s Coach of the Year honors.
She spent the next five years coaching at the University of Delaware and, since 2015, has been head coach at East Stroudsburg University (ESU).
Keeping her feet in international waters, Wohlbach finished her season this spring at ESU and went to coach the Peru National Team during the summer. When winter comes to the northern half of the globe, Wohlbach will head to the Southern Hemisphere to teach softball clinics in New Zealand.
“I just love the game so much it’s hard for me to ever say no,” Wohlbach said. “I don’t really take vacation days. My vacation is playing softball in another country.”
Wohlbach has been taking Spanish language classes at ESU and has a tutor to help her communicate with South American players.
As an addendum to her impressive career, Wohlbach has portrayed a softball player in the Reese Witherspoon movie, How Do You Know. She also had a role in the 2016 film, Love is All You Need?