Once in a while, though, one comes around that completely changes the way things are done — and sometimes you don't realize it until he or she leaves.
Dave Gallant, until recently the Notre Dame swim coach, is one of those coaches.
Only six area schools field swim teams and the sport doesn't command anywhere near the amount of readership of say, football, or basketball.
Also, a small paper's staff can easily get too busy with covering the 20 regional high schools with basketball teams to notice that swim season is starting too.
Dave never let that happen and he never let us forget that swimming deserved its share of copy.
Gallant called us when it was time to write the area swimming previews. He called us, to make sure we knew the dates of the SOC and County swim meets. If he didn't call us first, he always called back.
When those meets ended, Dave hand-delivered the results to our office, usually dripping all over the carpet after being pushed into the pool in celebration.
As a newspaper, having a coach like Dave was a blessing. We do our best to provide coverage for the lower profile sports, but we can't do it alone.
Dave may have been the swim coach for Notre Dame, but he was the media ambassador for the sport.
What's more, Gallant has 211 career wins, four SOC championships and 13 county swim titles under his belt.
When Gallant picked up win No. 200 I wrote the story about it. I asked him what it takes for a program to get 200 wins and he never once mentioned himself.
On Sunday, Dave offered some parting words for the area.
"I just want to offer my thanks and gratitude to the Portsmouth Daily Times and the support of the community and at Shawnee State," he said. "And also at Notre Dame. The community and the teachers and Kathy Milligan who have been constant supporters over the years and the parents and obviously the athletes.
"The program has been so successful," he added. "This experience is one that I will always cherish and remember."
Dave has served the youth of this area as coach in the pool and youth minister at St. Mary's Church.
More than once I saw a swimmer from another team come to Dave for advice and not once did he tell the competitor of a rival school to get lost. Rather he helped them out.
Dave and his wife are moving on from our area to hopefully bigger and better things with the Church in Columbus. While he hasn't secured a coaching position yet, he has every intention of doing so.
Before he leaves I just wanted to say one thing on behalf of this paper and on behalf of anyone involved in Scioto County swimming.
Thanks Dave, and godspeed.
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at email@example.com