Robert Tankard is calling it quits after eight years as head coach of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School football team.
News of his resignation, following a 27-14 loss to Nantucket Saturday, came as a shock to his players, football fans and the high school athletic department.
“I’ve been thinking about it for quite awhile. My wife knew about it and so did my coaches,” Mr. Tankard told the Gazette Sunday. “It has nothing to do with our record this season or the game Saturday.
Personal victories are what Bob Tankard cares about. He relies on them, he says, because they are messages that validate life and each person’s place on earth. Bob Tankard is the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School football coach.
He’s got the winner’s attitude and it just won’t quit.
When Bob Tankard says “I have a firm belief” or when he says “I mean it, I really mean it,” he clenches black hands into tight fists and squeezes his dark, merry eyes shut.
The Island Cup is a treasure shared by two Islands. Though tarnished, occasionally dropped and frequently squeezed, its significance has only increased. For 25 years the cup continues to be photographed, celebrated and coveted by athletes. And tomorrow, when Nantucket meets Martha’s Vineyard on the football gridiron, the cup is up for grabs again.