"MacGyver" has nothing on Carson High softball assistant coach Bob Carvin. What Richard Dean Anderson's character used to do to remove himself from jams during the popular 1980s television show, Carvin does for the CHS softball program.
Whatever needs to be done for the program, it's usually Carvin who's there to do it. And oh by the way, Carvin is also the varsity team's pitching coach.
No wonder CHS head coach Scott Vickrey calls Carvin the "MacGyver" of the team.
Ust how much does Carvin mean to Vickrey. "I always said when Bob quits I was going to," he said.
Carvin's CHS roots run deep as he was a pitcher and outfielder for Carson's 1972 state championship baseball team. He's been an assistant coach in Carson's softball program for the past eight years.
Since Carvin is a retired painter, that provides the program with two advantages. He's able to devote a great deal of his time to the program. And the program's fund-raiser can be a drawing in which the prize is having one's house painted for free.
Carvin's handiwork can be seen all over the CHS varsity field. "Nice dugout benches," said Carvin as he sat down for an interview Wednesday, admiring some of his own recent work. "We're spoiling these kids."
"I just like doing this," Carvin said. "Give someting back to the school. I've got nothing but time. I just love working with young kids."
Vickrey said while Carvin believes he needs to give back to the school and community, his assistant coach has more than paid his debt.
"He's paid his share back a 100 times over," Vickrey said. "He's just a tremendous asset. He's worth his weight in gold."
Vickrey said Carvin does most of the maintenance on the varsity softball field. More of his handiwork could be seen on Wednesday as Carvin got the mower running that was being used to mow the outfield. "He's kind of the fix-it guy out here," Vickrey said.
All of the coaches have their responsibilities, Vickrey said, who added one of Carvin's responsibilities is "keeping me in line."
"A great bunch of coaches," said Carvin about Vickrey and his fellow assistants, Jon Grant and Jim Rankl. "We're all on the same page."
Carvin just doesn't take care of the major projects. He'll do whatever it takes no matter if it's fixing gloves or rubbing icy hot on his pitchers' arms.
"If you need anything, he's always there," said sophomore pitcher Cassie Vondrak, who said she's benefitted greatly ever since the eighth grade when she began to be coached by Carvin. "I think Bob has made me a better pitcher."
"He's really positive," sophomore pitcher Nikki Keller also said. "He never puts anyone down.
"He's very, very helpful. He's a big part of this team. He doesn't get enough credit for it."
Carvin has a simple philosophy that a pitcher who just knows how to throw hard, but can't locate her pitchers is just "effectively wild" and not a pitcher, but a thrower.
"A pitcher is someone who has velocity and can put the pitch where she wants it and I think he's helping me to become one," Keller said.
"I think he's really helping me with my spots," freshman pitcher Daria Leid said. "I think I've gotten a little bit better at it this year."
Carvin said the three pitchers compare favorably to another pitcher he knows well, his daughter, Mandy, a 2005 CHS graduate who was an all-league pitcher for three years.
"She was just an easy kid to coach," Carvin said. "She knew right from wrong. She was very coachable."
Mandy gave her father much of the credit for her success. "My dad just loves the game, period," she said. "It isn't even that he only loves the game, he really enjoys the girls, too. I mean a couple he has known for 10 years or so."
That's not surprising since Carvin also works with younger pitchers before they arrive at CHS, trying to prepare them for the program.
"He lives and breathes it," said Mandy about her father's love of softball. "It is all he ever wants to talk about, at breakfast, lunch and dinner and anytime in between. He is proud of the team, each and every one of them, win or lose.
"It was so funny, the other day it seemed like something was wrong with him so I asked him and he said he was just nervous and I asked why and it was because they had a game that day.
"He said he gets nervous before every game. That just cracked me up and made me realize how much he love and appreciates being a part of every single practice and game."
Carvin said he's enjoying his time in the softball program more than ever. "These kids are the same way, very coachable," said Carvin, comparing this year's team to his daughter and players he's coached in the past.
"I'm just getting to know them," Carvin also said about his three current pitchers. "They have confidence in me and I have confidence in them."
Mandy also expressed that confidence she had in her father as a coach. "He understands that it takes a lot to be a good coach; not just bossing people around and expecting great results," she said.
"I think that's where a lot of coaches go wrong, they think that since they are over a group of people that they can just dictate but it takes dedication and commitment and the girls know they can count on him."