Beloved and legendary Turlock High School Water Polo Coach Steve Feaver passed away Wednesday morning after a battle with cancer.
“A piece of the culture of Turlock High School and our community has been lost but certainly will not be forgotten,” said Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Sonny Da Marto. “The number of students and athletes who have been inspired by Steve Feaver has been tremendous, and we know that these young people will continue to live and practice his teachings.”
Feaver retired in 2011 after a 39 year-career as Turlock High School's water polo coach. He led the Bulldogs to 15 Central California Conference championships, one Sac-Joaquin Section championship in 1990, and five undefeated CCC seasons.
“Coach Feaver left his mark on many of us,” former player Tommy Tickenoff said. “Through polo he taught us life lessons and pushed us to be better men, in and out of the pool. He was loved and his memory will always be cherished.”
In 2006 the THS Aquatic Center was renovated and renamed in honor of Feaver, who starteed teaching at THS in 1971. Feaver led the Bulldogs to a home record of 40-3 in the Feaver Aquatic Center, from its 2007 opening to his 2011 retirement.
“I played for him, was mentored by him, and coached alongside him for almost 10 years. He was like a second father to me,” said Ryan Denis, Feaver’s former player and a fellow coach from 2002 to 2011. “The thing that I find most sad and ironic is that he found out shortly after he retired that he had this cancer, he gave his whole life to the education of youth and the sport of water polo and swimming and when he retires to spend time with family he was called home. He had a quote that I will remember him by forever, 'We are all just players on a team and God is the coach, whatever he decides our next move is I'm okay with it because he's the coach and I'm a part of the team.'”
Feaver finished his career with 750 overall wins, the most in the history of boys water polo in the Sac-Joaquin Section. He had a 373-106 career record in CCC games.
Feaver also coached the Turlock High School Varsity Boys Swim Team from 1971 to 2009. In that time span, the swim team won 20 CCC championships, with 18 undefeated CCC seasons.
Feaver's family issued the following statement on his passing via the Turlock High Water Polo Alumni Facebook Page:
“Steve died yesterday morning and is now cancer free. He went peacefully, courageously, and victoriously into the arms of God. We want to thank you for all the prayers, love and support we have received through this challenging journey. He left us an amazing gift – the true definition or courage, strength and faith. Please pray for the days and months ahead as we go forward.
“We are in the process of planning the service and will update you as soon as we know.
With more gratitude and love than we can ever express- Virginia, Erika and Ryan.”