Career Change - The Explorer: Sports

Career Change

Accountant's left turn leading Marana girls' soccer toward winning path

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Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

After 15 years’ work as an accountant, Dan Tarquin’s sense of satisfaction lie buried under red ink.

Joy sprung not from itemizations, but inbounding drills; from hours spent coaching his boys’ soccer team.

So Tarquin unplugged.

The mathematician abandoned his number-crunching job, started teaching algebra at Marana High School, and lucked into the vacated head coaching slot for the oft-maligned varsity girls’ soccer team.

Farming his hair back into a ponytail and resuscitating his drummer’s chops along the way, to anchor a classic rock cover band, seemed simple enough.

Keeping 22 girls from text messaging during practice proved a different matter.

“We got a hold of that early. It was a steep learning curve my first year coaching girls,” Tarquin conceded.

Sheer perhaps — but not so much as the Lady Tigers’ record improved. Two years back, the girls towed a 2-18 ledger.

Last season they rose to 8-8-5.

And that was after they took a talented Canyon Del Oro squad for an 88-minute regional ride, losing in the final minute of their last game.

“It was a huge turnaround,” Tarquin said.  “But we could’ve done better.”

As Tarquin’s second shift rolls around, practices bear a sense of hope and energy, if not immediacy, along Sandario Road. Blame the lagging hair of August’s Dog Days — and 95-degree sunset temperatures — for the easygoing nature of last week’s scrimmages.

Foes shouldn’t expect calm treatment, though, from sophomore duo Nikki and Jessie Koeppen. The identical twins posted on opposite ends of the field bear raw speed that figures heavily into Marana’s plan.

The pair proved their nerve last year during a 7-0 loss to Salpointe, striving to keep the Tigers’ flag upright while “getting run over,” in Tarquin’s words.

“Sometimes I had to go out onto the field and make sure their heads were still attached to their shoulders,” Tarquin said.  “But they popped right back up.”

The Koeppens and their teammates are tired of sitting at the bottom of Marana’s sporting hierarchy — and can’t wait to increase respect from classmates, and Tarquin.

“It’s going to take more work than last year, but we can do better because he’s the only coach that’s stuck with us,” Nikki Koeppen said.

The team holds promise. Of last year’s entire squad, only six graduated and nine were freshmen.

On his end, Tarquin didn’t spend the entire summer working on snare triplets.

Tarquin, also a CDO Soccer Club coach, spent six days in Chicago’s humidity with 33 collegiate coaches, completing the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s national diploma.

CDO director Steve Wallace said the training solidified Tarquin from novice instructor to a “student of the game,” helping to develop four new CDO Soccer teams in Marana and Continental Ranch.

“He was willing to listen and to get educated so he could give more to the kids,” Wallace said.

Tarquin’s shift required sacrifice, after dumping a fat corporate paycheck. His wife expressed an occasional worry as he cut down on clothing purchases, and the like.

Watching the girls gel on the grass, the coach was content.

“You have to make adjustments in your lifestyle,” Tarquin said.  “We made close to a 50 percent reduction, but I got more than 50 percent back.”

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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