He held true to that again Tuesday, even in the midst of making a decision that is certain to make a huge impact on the Greater Rome basketball landscape — and the community as a whole.
Van Es, who is one of the most well-respected and successful coaches in Greater Rome’s basketball history, revealed that he is retiring after 44 seasons at Darlington.
“I don’t want anyone to make a big deal out of this,” said Van Es during a phone interview with the RN-T on Tuesday. “All I really want to say is that I’ve enjoyed it.”
Van Es, who coached both the boys and girls teams during his legendary career at Darlington, did not elaborate as to what led to his decision other than to simply say: “It’s time.”
Van Es’ decision to step down was made known to the Darlington faculty and parents through a letter sent out by Associate Headmaster James Milford on Tuesday.
In the letter, Milford said that many of the students who knew Van Es “usually have at least one story — if not several — about Jim and how he made an impact on their lives.”
The letter also stated: “Over the years, Jim’s successes as an educator, coach, mentor and friend have been recognized with Darlington’s Oscar Betts Master Teacher Award, R.M. Yankee Teacher Award and James Douglas Brown Jr. Faculty Award. He has also appeared multiple times in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”
To read the feature story on Van Es published on the front page of Wednesday's sports section, pick up a copy of the Rome News-Tribune.
Darlington's basketball record under Jim Van Es:
In Region: 5–9
In Region: 6–6
In Region: 14–0
In Region: 14–1
In Region: 13–1
In Region: 11–2
In Region: 11–9
In Region: 7–9
In Region: 7–5
In Region: 12–10
(Figures provided by the Darlington website)