An Interview with CRLS Golf’s Coach Pag

Hannah Chun, Metro Editor

Many know him as Joseph Pagliaro or Joe Pag, but to me and the other players on the CRLS golf team, he is Coach Pag, one of the kindest and most supportive people you’ll ever meet. A CRLS alum himself, Coach Pag is the head coach of the CRLS golf team and has been coaching for over 50 years. He’s known for his sportsmanship, positive attitude, and compassion toward all players on the team, and that just scratches the surface. As someone who has been on the golf team since freshman year, I can say with complete confidence that Coach Pag is someone in my life who never fails to support, motivate, and encourage me to continue playing, and I’m sure many other people can say the same. I was interested in learning more about his extensive career, so I interviewed him via phone call and asked him a few questions.

One of the big things was equity and trying to get everybody to play in matches.”

Register Forum (RF): How did you originally get into golf?

Joe Pag (JP): “I didn’t start [playing golf] until I was a junior in high school. My friends played at Fresh Pond, and I asked my father to play, so he got a set of clubs for me. I played with my dad a couple of times and with my friends occasionally. I really got into it during my senior year and some of my junior year; I played all the time, and I was really good at it. I was basically the number-one player at Cambridge Rindge and Latin because I played all the time. Some of the other kids didn’t play that much. I played all the way through college, and I was a decent player.”

RF: How did you get involved with coaching?

JP: “…In 1970 … I applied [to coach] at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. So my career started in 1970. […] I really enjoyed it over the years. One of the big things was equity and trying to get everybody to play in matches. In the ’90s, golf really took off with Rindge; the team went from 10-11 kids to 20-25. […] I had wonderful kids [on the team]. I can’t think of any incident in my 53 years of coaching that I got really upset with a kid.”

RF: How has the sport grown at the school over time?

JP: “This year in particular, we had 46 kids, and they were all wonderful. We had 15 varsity matches, six JV matches, and the kids got to go to the driving range on Fridays. It was a lot of fun. Especially with the pandemic, I saw how important it was to teach people to socialize while putting your mask on, distancing six feet, that kind of thing. But it was a pleasure to see kids interact and how important a sport is. Even if they didn’t play on Varsity or JV, [it was nice] just to be together and participate. So I was actually kind of privileged to have a good career like that. And again, the kids have been wonderful.”

Being on the team and playing golf with Coach Pag is always a pleasure, and getting to interview him and learn more about how his passion and talent for golf began was amazing. CRLS will always continue to cherish him not only as a wonderful golfer but as a person as well.

This piece also appears in our May 2022 print edition.