Stuteville Atoka 1125

By Derrick Smith

Coaching is a big responsibility. Not only are you in charge of an athletic team, making sure they are prepared for competition, but you are also a leader and influence on those athletes. The really good coaches have an impact that expands beyond the players on their team and that is the case for Tushka head softball coach, David Durbin.

“I have looked forward to playing for coach Durbin since I was about seven years old,” said Tushka senior Mackenzie Huffman. “Without him, I wouldn’t be the player I am today. He is a tough coach and can always get the most out of each player, without a doubt he is the best coach I know and I appreciate him more than he will ever understand.”

Durbin has coached softball for eighteen seasons, a majority of that has been at Tushka. He also coached one season at Arkoma and four seasons at Coalgate. He says that while he has enjoyed winning titles, it is the student-athletes that make him feel successful.

“During my career, I have coached four teams to state championships,” he said. “But a coach is only as successful as the athletes that he has. I have been blessed to coach some awesome athletes and some of them are still a part of my life to this day.”

Kayelin Kindred, Tushka senior, says that she would not be where she is today without Durbin. “Coach Durbin is constantly pushing us to be the best on and off the field,” she said. “He teaches not only about softball, but how to be a good teammate, friend, and how to be successful in life. I would not be where I am today without Coach Durbin, pushing me to be the best I can and teaching me to never give up on myself or my team, no matter the circumstances.”

The biggest influence on Durbin’s life was his father. “He had a great work ethic,” David said. “That is where I learned my work ethic. He would say, ‘you don’t have to be the best, just work harder than the best’.”

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