The athletic staff at Converse College has made many changes in the 2002 coaching staff. The most recent being the hiring of Robin Tarpinian who has already assumed responsibilities as the new head cross-country coach.
Athletic Director Margaret Moore found herself in a bind, as she was one coach short of a cross-country team in the middle of the season. Sadly enough for the team, the season was brought to a halt and Moore was on a mission to find a coach to start right away.
“The hiring of Robin is a blessing for us,” said Moore. “She comes to us with a highly qualified background and I expect and can only imagine the greatness she is going to contribute to this program here at Converse.”
For the last few years Tarpinian has been involved with Converse from a different angle. She is currently pursuing her masters in secondary education at Converse II and although she was on the campus nearly every day, it was her husband, Mike Foley, a reporter for the Greenville News who stumbled across the job opening and passed it along to her.
“My husband was looking online to the NCAA web site and told me about it, said Tarpinian. “I have always wanted to coach at the collegiate level and Converse has so much to offer. The campus environment is inviting.”
Tarpinian is no stranger to the world of coaching. Before taking the job at Converse she coached high school track and cross-country for nine years, the last five at Blue Ridge High School in Greer, SC. Having those high school connections will be an advantage as she begins her first order of business to recruit seven or eight runners in hopes to help rebuild the All-Star team.
As far as next year’s team goes, Tarpinian is looking for a group of girls who can, and want to, work together to make the team a strong one. With only 4 girls returning from this past season’s squad, upperclassmen will be looked upon to welcome the new freshman like family.
“I have seen personality clashes ruin quality teams, even in what most people term “individual sports”. “Training is the easy part,” said the Tarpinian, “but, through my own experience and through research, I have found the best teams are those that bond like families.”
An accomplished athlete herself, Tarpinian was a sprinter and hurdler in high school and played volleyball at Michigan State University. For the past 20 years she has turned her attention more towards distance running and has competed in various races. In 2000 and 2001 she won the Strictly Running Grand Prix road racing tour. This competition is a year-long even where runner garner points depending on where they finish in the top 20 in 18 different road races in South Carolina.
Converse College and it’s athletic department welcomes Robin Tarpinian to the family and wishes her the best of luck, as she becomes part of the winning tradition for years to come.