Bandits head coach John Tavares enriches students of the game and students of the classroom

Posted at 6:59 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 07:21:44-05

MISSISSAUGA, On. (WKBW) — On the weekends, Buffalo Bandits head coach John Tavares focuses on X's and O's. At school, it's all about X's and Y's. He's also a math teacher at Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School.

"In both teaching math and teaching sport, I think you have to have confidence," Tavares said. "To be able to give the student, or your player confidence, they're going to perform a lot better for you."

If you take a look around Tavares's classroom, you won't find any indication of his success for the Bandits. But his involvement with the NLL isn't a secret to some of his co-workers.

"He always presented it as a very humble thing," Pocock gym teacher Damian Anisko said. "You'd often ask, 'Hey John, how did the game go last night?' And he'd say 'Oh, not too bad, I only got 13 points.'"

Tavares keeps a fairly low profile with his students, both as a coach and during his time as a player for the Bandits.

"It was kind of like a double life, if you would," Tavares said. "It was a busy life, but a fun life, and it was enjoyable doing both at the same time."

Now that Tavares is behind the bench instead of on the floor, there's a lot more that he can bring from one life into the other.

"I kind of look at my classroom as my team," Tavares said. "I think there's kind of a strong correlation between what it takes to be a good athlete and what it takes to be a good student."