[N.C. STATE MEN] The colorful George Tarantini, who won 234 games and coached such stars as Tab Ramos in his 29 years at N.C. State, 25 as head coach, has retired. N.C. State was already a national power when Tarantini arrived in Raleigh as an assistant under Larry Gross in 1982, but he turned a program known for its Nigerian imports into a team dominated by Americans starting to come out of the ODP system in which he worked.
His arrival shortly after Bruce Arena took over at Virginia and John Rennie came to Duke helped make the ACC the place to go for players in the Northeast.
Tarantini's recruiting connections brought in such future national team players as Ramos, Roy Lassiter, Henry Gutierrez, Dario Brose and Pablo Mastroeni.
N.C. State's 1990 team with Lassiter, Brose, Gutierrez and Scott Schweitzer is considered one of the most talented in college soccer history. The Wolfpack lost to eventual champion UCLA -- with Brad Friedel, Chris Henderson, Joe-Max Moore, Mike Lapper, Cobi Jones and Jorge Salcedo, among others -- on penalty kicks in the semifinals.
Tarantini was a two-time ACC Coach of the Year who led the Wolfpack to nine NCAA tournament appearances.
"I want to say a special 'thank you' to all of my players, coaches and administrators with whom I worked," he said in announcing his resignation. "I have met so many wonderful people that have touched my life and soul forever."
Tarantini, whose brother Alberto starred on Argentina's 1978 World Cup championship team, was close with late N.C. State basketball coach Jim Valvano.