Seton Hill University wrestler, head coach save volunteer coach's life after heart attack
Seton Hill freshman wrestler Joe Miller is used to intense workouts, but not quite like the one he got Tuesday.
While the wrestlers were having their daily practice, volunteer Assistant Coach Mark Marshall collapsed to the mat from an apparent heart attack. He had been working with the student wrestlers at the time.
“He wasn't looking so good and fell over. We all kind of ran to him,” said senior Tanner Druck, 22, a student assistant coach.
Miller, 18, and head Coach Brian Tucker, who are certified in CPR, began taking turns administering chest compressions and rescue breaths. They are credited with saving Marshall's life.
“We all just acted real quick. We were all in the right place,” said graduate student Ty Lydic, 23, a student assistant coach.
Marshall, 54, of Latrobe was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital and was scheduled for triple-bypass surgery Thursday afternoon, Tucker said.
Tucker updated his wrestlers on Marshall's condition during Thursday's practice, then life went on as usual.
“He's been a big mentor and role model for the team,” Lydic said. “Fortunately, we were able to help him because he's helped us so much.”
A pharmaceutical sales rep, Marshall began volunteering with the Seton Hill wrestling program when it started in 2006. Tucker, who has worked with him for five years, has always known him to be in good shape.
“He works out daily,” he said. “He stays on the mat with the heavier weight classes to provide ample practice, technique, strength and conditioning.”
About 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Marshall was assisting with routine drills when something appeared to be wrong.
“There was a small break in the action, and he kind of bent over, looking like he was out of breath, and then collapsed to all fours,” Tucker said.
Tucker tapped on Marshall's back and asked if he was OK. He was unresponsive. At that point, “there were a lot of moving parts,” Tucker said.
Lydic called 911 and then handed the phone to Druck. Tucker called Jordan Blair, a contracted athletic trainer through Excela Health, and asked for an automated external defibrillator. Assistant Coach Brett Smith got everyone out of the room and tried to keep order.
Miller, who received his CPR training while a lifeguard with the Dewey Beach Patrol in Delaware, estimates that he and Tucker did six cycles of compressions and breaths before paramedics arrived. Lydic, also certified in CPR, assisted.
Within about five minutes, Blair, who was at a soccer game, arrived with the AED. Marshall received two rounds of shocks before the paramedics took over, Miller said.
“The entire university community is grateful for the quick response and heroic efforts of the coaching staff, training staff and the wrestling team,” said university spokeswoman Jennifer Reeger. “These efforts resulted in saving Coach Marshall's life.”