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GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — There were some frightening moments for the wrestling team at Seton Hill University when one of their coaches collapsed during practice Tuesday. His team stepped in and saved his life.
The wrestlers practice team unity every day, but they came together like never before during Tuesday’s practice when one of their beloved coaches had a heart attack.
The culture board in their wrestling room reminds them of team unity, but a real lesson came when volunteer Assistant Coach Mark Marshall collapsed as he was wrestling with a student.
“When I looked over, I saw Marshall on his side. And I had this feeling. They teach us to recognize, react and respond,” freshman wrestler Joseph Miller said.
Both Miller and Head Coach Brian Tucker are certified in CPR and immediately started taking turns doing chest compressions.
“We were all just communicating together. It was really just a team effort,” Miller said.
Student assistants Ty Lydic and Tanner Druck were communicating with them and the 911 dispatcher while Assistant Coach Brett Smith took the other wrestlers out of the building.
“A big group of us got out on the road. We started directing traffic for when our trainer Jordan was going to be coming down the hill so he could as easily as possible get into the room,” Coach Smith said.
When athletic trainer Jordan Blair arrived, he used a defibrillator before paramedics took over.
“At that point too, Coach Marshall was coming back through and responding and talking,” Coach Tucker said.
That’s when they realized they saved his life.
“Having this culture of hard work and leadership and being just good individuals, everybody either listened or acted in that type of manner. It almost seems like we practiced it and obviously we didn’t,” Coach Tucker said.
Coach Marshall is a veteran world champion wrestler. At 54 years old, Marshall is in “phenomenal shape,” according to his team.
“The kid he was wrestling with said Marshall was beating him up so he’s not sure how it happened,” Coach Tucker said.
Coach Marshall also has a great sense of humor and was upset they ended practice early.
“He just has such a strong personality and he has been such a great influence for so many people that have come through this program,” Coach Smith said.
Coach Marshall is scheduled to have triple bypass surgery Thursday. The other coaches visited him in the hospital Wednesday and he is in good spirits. The team cannot wait to have him back.