By CLINT FOSTER
A great coach is made of more than just wins and losses.
Through countless hours of unrecognized work and preparation, it's the truly special ones that take the time to not only develop young talent on the playing field, but also help them grow as individuals off it.
In his 18 years at Mineral Wells High School, David Tarver has epitomized a fantastic coach in its purest form.
As the Lady Rams' head softball coach for the past 17 years, Tarver posted a winning percentage just shy of .300 and was at the helm for the two greatest years in Mineral Wells softball history: back-to-back area championship seasons, including a 28-10 campaign in 2014 that set a new school record for wins in a single year.
And through it all, Tarver maintained rock-solid relationships with his former players and had a profound impact on each of their lives.
Now, after reaching the highest point so far of his coaching career, Tarver has decided to call it quits, opting instead to spend more time with his growing family.
He has accepted a job as assistant principal at Travis Elementary, where he can watch his 3-year-old daughter, Rylan, and another baby girl due next week, Blake, grow up without missing a thing.
"This position came open and everything just came together at the right time," Tarver said. "It just allows me to be a dad. That's the ultimate deal right there. Football season is seven days a week and softball is six days a week for most of the season. The way everything happened and the way it turns out, the administration job gives me the opportunity to step into a role of leadership with students still and give me back some of my time to be a dad, too, and watch my kids play."