Privately funded facility a dream realized for Page

Jeff Russ

Herb Page stood and admired the state-of-the-art Golf Teaching and Learning Facility, an area where he spent more than 30 years teaching golf on a standard driving range. Page gestured toward the building, smiling as he thought of the humble grounds he began teaching on in 1976.

“At that time, who would have thought of all this,” said Page, the men’s golf coach. “I look out here and just say, ‘Wow, look at this.'”

Page’s longtime dream has become a reality.

“A lot of people think (Page has) been working on this project for a few years,” said junior golfer Tommy Wiegand. “But he’s been working on this project since his first day.”

The $2 million project was, to the last penny, privately funded. Page and others spearheaded the fundraising efforts. Emilio Ferrara and his wife, Margaret, donated the lead gift to Page and the team. Ferrara declined to disclose how much he contributed.

“Twenty-eight years ago, myself and a partner purchased Windmill Lakes Golf Club, and we hired a club pro, Herb Page,” Ferrara said. “After letting the university use the course for so long, knowing they had the property, I knew this was the only way to keep the team good. So I decided to donate to the golf team.”

Ferrara is a graduate of Kent State. He played basketball for the university and now is a dentist in Kent. He said Page is the reason he donated to the program.

“I knew him from a relationship with athletics, and now I know him as a friend,” Ferrara said. “He stressed all the ideals I look for in a coach — getting scholarships, keeping players, a high graduation rate.”

Ferrara said the players are another reason he decided to donate.

“I think they are a reflection of the coach,” Ferrara said. “Their graduation rate is very high. they have lots of All-Americans and All-MAC golfers.”

Women’s coach Mike Morrow also sees those qualities in Page and the players.

“He teaches life-long lessons,” Morrow said. “Not just for golf but after college. He does a great job preparing them for life.

“It is easy to financially support a program that does it right,” Morrow said.

Senior women’s golfer Karen Delaney expressed her gratitude for the facility.

“I don’t think we can thank the donors enough,” she said. “I’m just so happy to be in here.”

But for everyone involved in the golf program, it all comes back to Page, and from his vision in 1976 to today, Herb Page said he is very happy to be a part of this.

“We are doing it right for these men and women,” Page said. “We only get one chance to do this, and I’m the luckiest coach in the world.”

Contact golf reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].