Tyler Stallons had a lot of success during his time as head coach of the Hopkinsville Tigers boys' soccer team, but now he is ready to be more involved in a team that's a little closer to home.
Stallons announced last week he was stepping down as coach to spend more time with his young family as Stallons and his wife Carrie have two children at home.
"The last three or four years, it's been a year-to-year basis," he said. "It wasn't one of those things where I was going to know for sure but whenever your kid starts asking if you're going to his game or the big boys game, it really puts things into perspective and I always told myself when he realized I wasn't at his stuff, it may be time to step away for a bit and prioritize and come back later on."
Stallons said he wants to be involved in his kids' lives and that includes coaching Cohen at the YMCA next spring.
"I probably could have maybe justified coming back but it's not something that you need to justify," he said.
In nine years, Stallons had a record of 169-48-11 with eight Eighth District championships, multiple Second Region championships and the first Final Four in program history in 2018, along with being named the KHSAA Boys' Soccer Coach of the Year for that feat.
"It's been a good run," he said. "Nine years is a pretty long time to be coaching the same team for any sport. I was lucky to get offered the position at a pretty young age and it taught me a lot. I grew as a coach there with time and experience. I didn't come in knowing everything. I was blessed with really good players and there are still going to be really good players there.
"This year's team or how we did this year or what's coming back had no determining factor other than it was time for me to spend more time with my family and focus on them because they're only little once."
He said it's hard to believe the amount of success he's had.
"It takes the right mix of players," he said. "It takes quality assistant coaches. It takes great parents. It takes a community getting behind you like they did last year to kind of push you on through. It takes a lot more than just me for that to happen."
One person that has been beside Stallons during his tenure isn't a player or a coach, but his wife.
Stallons said she's been there since day one as the couple married in 2012.
"It was always an us decision," he said. "We always sat down, the last three of four years and kind of made that decision together. If I would have decided to come back, she would have supported it. That's just what she does. She's been a rock in it all. What most people don't realize, the coach's wife or the coach's husband, during that persons season, they're as close to being a single parent as you can be without being a single parent."
Stallons has had a lot of moments that stand out in his mind during his tenure, but the Final Four is obviously near the top.
"More so I'm going to remember the relationships I've made with the players and the coaches and the other coaches I've been around from other teams," he said. "That's what I'll miss the most too is the relationships you build and having that impact on the kids. There's way too many memories."
Now, Stallons is looking forward to spending time with his family but he won't be far from the sport he loves as he's currently the president and director of coaching for Valor United FC, a new club soccer program based in Hopkinsville.
But does that mean Stallons is done teaching the beautiful game in the southern Pennyrile? Not a chance.
"If somebody from the region calls and says do you mind doing a session, I'm there," he said. "I want to be an ambassador for the sport."