As a three-sport athlete at Dedham High School in Massachusetts, Linda Dirga was destined for success. After excelling in field hockey, basketball and tennis at the high school level, Linda went on to play field hockey and basketball at the University of Bridgeport’s Arnold College in Connecticut. While there, she played field hockey for Angela “Chickie” Poisson, led her field hockey team as captain, and earned the Constance B. Applebee Camp Scholarship.
In her first job at Bethel High, Linda started the school’s first field hockey team and also coached the girls’ basketball team. After two years she left to start a family, raising three children, Stacey, Jennifer and Rick. During that time, she became an official, umpiring both high school and college field hockey and basketball games up through the tournament level.
Linda’s basketball officiating career took off in the 1970’s and she was a member of the Bridgeport Connecticut Officials Board and the Southwest Connecticut Officials board through the mid-80s. She earned a national rating in the 1970s through the 1980s. Although she officiated throughout the state, she was predominately involved with the FCIAC and WCC conferences. Linda also served as a collegiate official, working games at Fairfield University, WCSU, Trinity College, Connecticut College and others. She was an official for many Conference Championship games and two state championships in the 1970s. One of the highpoints of her officiating career was when the Class L State Finals were showcased for the first time in the new Moore Field House at SCSU, and she was asked to referee. Those state finals games marked great development in the recognition of high school women’s basketball and Linda was thrilled to be a part of such a momentous occasion.
In 1984, Linda returned to teaching and coaching at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, CT. During an incredibly successful 26 year career as field hockey coach, Linda’s Pomperaug teams amassed a record of 437-44-22. Every one of her teams qualified for the state tournament-- winning 8 State Championships and Runners-Up 8 times.
Linda’s field hockey successes have brought innumerable honors. She has been inducted into many Halls of Fame, received seven coach of the year honors, and twice been named National Coach of the Year. Linda received the prestigious Pathfinder Award and was recognized as the Hartford Courant’s Best of the Century Great Coaches in 2000.
Linda has provided many years of professional service at the local, state and national level. She has served as a field hockey and basketball official for over 40 years and she continues to give back to the sports she loves, even though she has officially retired from her work as a coach. Linda intends to always be involved in the promotion of women’s sports and the games she loves so much. Presently she enjoys being with her seven grandchildren (Abby, Ryan, Emily, Katie, Liv, Ian and Colin) as they grow and become involved in sports. It is especially rewarding for Linda to see her four granddaughters learning and loving the sports of field hockey and basketball.