Retirement will not slow down Williamstown’s Page

MARIETTA?- Paul Page has worked with some of the best college baseball coaches in the history of the sport.

Page was a graduate assistant at Mississippi State under Ron Polk, considered the “Father of SEC Baseball,” for two seasons in the late 1970s and later went on to assist local legend Don Schaly at Marietta College.

Having learned under the tutelage of two college baseball hall of famers, it’s no surprise that Page, a Williamstown High graduate and Westerville, Ohio, resident, went on to have his own success as a head coach, winning 1,000-plus games as the skipper for Ohio Dominican University.

“Oh my gosh,” said the 65-year-old Page. “Talk about being blessed. I had a chance to work under two of the greatest college baseball coaches in history.”

While Page would quickly refute any comparisons to his two mentors, there is no arguing that Page’s impact on college baseball will be long-lasting, even after retirement.

“I can look back and the relationships we’ve built and impact we’ve had on young people’s lives will provide me with a lot of satisfaction,” said Page, who began his head coaching career in 1988 at ODU. He was also the school’s director of athletics from 1988 to 2004.

Posting a record of 1,007-552-7 with the Panthers, Page and his program enjoyed plenty of success over the past three decades. What stands out most to Page is the six World Series appearances, with the first coming in ’96.

“Coach Schaly always said, ‘The first time you do anything is the hardest,'” Page recalled.

After that, the bar was officially raised. Success became the norm.

“We built a program people looked at as one of the best,” Page said.

Things changed slightly for Page in the early 2000s with a new addition to the program – his son, Wes.

The younger Page went on to become an Academic All-American at ODU and was a key contributor for the 2003 Panthers club that reached the World Series.

“Coaching my son was a highlight for me,” the elder Page stated. These days, Wes Page is working as an attorney at a law firm in Charleston. Paul Page said he and his wife, Sally, will likely relocate to that area at some point.

For now, Page is still officially employed at ODU – his last day is June 30 – where he is still working hard at helping the baseball team.

“We’ve raised some money for the program,” he said. “We’re now in the process of building a press box.”

Page said he plans to take retirement day by day, but has always dreamed of building baseball programs in inner cities. He feels kids in those areas are not getting the same opportunities to play the sport.

“Baseball has sort of become a rich person’s game,” Page said. “The amount of money being charged for summer ball and showcases has really changed the dynamic. For kids that don’t have the money, baseball is not as much of an option.”

After his winning tenure as a baseball coach and years running a successful kitchen and bathroom remodeling business in Wood County, there is little doubt Page will prosper in whatever he chooses to do in retirement. Except, maybe, for golf.

“I’ll tell you, that is a frustrating game,” he laughed.