There were times this past season when going to the gymnasium was not fun for Tom Tintor.
“This was the first year where I thought I might need a change,” he said.
Thursday, Tintor stepped down as the girls basketball coach at North Port High School after 12 seasons.
He leaves with nothing except great memories.
“A lot of good kids, hard-working kids,” said Tintor, who has been coaching basketball “off and on” since 1971. “And some good teams.”
The Bobcats won the first district championship in school history in the 2011-12 season. They went to Palm Harbor University and defeated Tarpon Springs East Lake for the Class 8A-District 8 title in the first year the Florida High School Athletic Association expanded to eight classes.
Upon arriving back in North Port, the players went into their gymnasium and cut down the nets in front of family and friends.
“That was pretty neat,” Tintor said.
The Bobcats went on to the regional final, where they lost to Orlando University, 75-59, the first of two years they advanced to the regional final. They lost to Orlando Colonial the following year.
North Port’s best team under Tintor may have been 2008-09, when it had Brittany Konik, Rheisa Burke and Lauren Crowell and lost to Southeast by two points in the district final and finished 24-6.
“Really, really good kids,” said Tintor, who had teams played an up-tempo style, running and pressing.
Tintor said he will miss the camaraderie with the other coaches, officials and even the media.
Planning to teach one more year, the 65-year-old Tintor may turn up on a sideline as an assistant next year on a lower level, but bid adieu to the North Port program.
“It’s been good,” he said. “It’s been good.”