The Wolfpacker

May-June 2020

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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50 ■ THE WOLFPACKER I n a year that everyone has experienced seismic shifts in their professional and personal lives, in a time unlike any other, NC State women's golf coach Page Marsh chooses to be an optimist. These days, it's exceptionally hard work, especially for someone who has been through more than most over the last 12 months. "I'm a product of my environment and DNA, and I have always been optimistic and enthusiastic," Marsh said. "You have to work at it or you will lose it. It's not always easy." It's something we all have had to work on during the economic, athletic and social shut- down during the global novel coronavirus pan- demic, some more successfully than others. Marsh has built a foundation of success, starting with a 10-year nomadic existence that is now based on the first floor of the Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse at the Lon- nie Poole Golf Club, the world-class facility the women's program shares with the men's team. She has taken her team to 17 NCAA regionals and produced professional players and scholar-athletes, among other honors. More than that, however, she has immersed herself into the Wolfpack family. She mar- ried former soccer coach George Tarantini, a mutually beneficial union that helped Marsh loosen her rigid tendency for over-planning and helped the hyper-competitive Tarantini center himself between wins and losses. Last fall, while Marsh was with her team in a tournament in Colorado, Tarantini died at their home in Garner, a devastating loss for Marsh, her twin daughters and the Wolf- pack athletics community. She was buoyed through that difficult time with the help of her family, her golf and coach- ing connections, and the many people that Tarantini had touched in his life, which was apparent during the outpouring of emotion at a Reynolds Coliseum memorial service, a golf outing with friends and former players, and recognition at a men's soccer match. "One of the things I inherited from George was his team," she noted. "Out of respect for George, his players remember and check in on me. They have been wonderful to me. So has my team and my incoming player. "That's one of the great things about ath- letics. You make connections. It's been very touching." This spring, Marsh received the Women's Golf Coaches Association's Kim Moore Spirit Award, which recognizes coaches, players or student-athletes who have "a great spirit toward the game of golf, a posi- tive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental tough- ness in facing challenges." And it's that last word that Marsh thinks about: challenges. "The challenge of a great life is when you learn to live the challenge of it," she explained. "If you strive to be perfect, you miss the whole point." Marsh has been trying to center herself and her team, whose season was wiped out after just three spring tournaments, by prac- ticing yoga and returning to social golf, both of which are sanctioned within the state's coronavirus shutdown guidelines. "It's not your score or your outcome that defines you, but what you choose to do with it," Marsh said. "If you are winning, do you rest on your laurels or are you, like [PGA golfer] Patrick Johnson says, shot in the butt with a glory gun? You have to decide who you want to be." Marsh chooses to be an optimist. She reads, listens to podcasts and is trying to figure out, as we all are, how to stay socially engaged while being physically isolated. While she aches like everyone else for the loss of the spring sports season, she has also spent years on learning how to stay centered during traumatic times. "There are more important things than the wins and losses," Marsh said. "Being a hard worker. Helping other people. Being curi- ous. Living your faith. Working on being the best version of yourself — which is the ultimate goal for us all." And that's the spirit for which Marsh was recognized. ■ Tim Peeler is a regular contributor to The Wolfpacker and can be reached at Marsh's enthusiasm and optimism have been revealed through recent challenges, which led to her earning the Women's Golf Coaches Association's Kim Moore Spirit Award. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS PACK PERSPECTIVE BY TIM PEELER Women's Golf Coach Page Marsh Exudes The Wolfpack Spirit

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