EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 14, 2012

Coach leaves lasting legacy

BRAINTREE — Bill Tarbox was supposed to be one who was crying.

At 9:49 p.m. last night, it was over. His resume — 40 years (22 in North Andover), 422 wins, 206 losses, Hall of Fame nominations and thousands, or maybe even millions, of long-lasting memories — was complete.

Before the season started, he announced this would be his last as coach at North Andover.

Several people around him were crying, including his daughter Jan.

“It’s OK,” said the 63-year-old Tarbox before hugging his daughter. “It was a great run. It really was.”

Tarbox looked around while several of his seniors whom were also struggling with their emotions after last night’s 3-0 loss to Medway High in the Div. 2 state semis.

“I understand. We’re all disappointed,” said Tarbox. “But there is more to life than a soccer game. You guys will realize pretty soon how special this year was. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Tarbox has earned lots of accolades at North Andover High, and it wasn’t just the 300 wins he accumulated there. It was the family atmosphere he always tried to cultivate.

“We tried to win every game for him,” said senior captain, Dennis Graef. “He’s a great guy. He treats everyone with respect.”

Tarbox has no regrets. He will never lose sleep over the fact that he never won a state title.

“It’s hard to make it this far,” said Tarbox. “We got this far in 1999 and lost. There are a lot of great teams. We easily could’ve advance if we got a bounce here and there. But we easily could have lost a few games in the tournament. And we beat Concord-Carlisle, which is a great program ... I’m very happy.”

He should be. North Andover High boys soccer is headed in the right direction.

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