Coach Tara Minnax: The Heart and Soul of NAHS Girls Soccer

Feasting on Flapjacks: Senior Bella Rocchio waits tables and racks up tips at the recently opened Original Pancake House on Peachtree Rd.

A soccer team is only as successful as far as its leadership and coaching, as evidenced by the NAHS Girls Varsity Soccer team coach, Tara Minnax. She led the team to an undefeated season in their region last spring before Covid 19 unfortunately cut the season short. In her thirteen years of coaching at NAHS, Minnax has experienced many successful seasons, including an impressive playoff run in 2017. Minnax is as dedicated to her team and players as a coach could possibly be, and works as the conductor to the soccer team’s well-oiled machine of players. 

Minnax has an extensive history involving soccer. After she was recruited to play college soccer for the University of Tennessee from 1998 to 2002, Minnax came to Atlanta to play for the Atlanta Beat for one year before moving her soccer career to Chicago. Next, she moved back to Atlanta to finish out her career playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks for six years, retiring in 2010.

After hearing from a North Atlanta student that the girl’s soccer team was in need of a coach, Minnax signed on, thinking she would only coach for one year. Thirteen years later, Minnax is still involved, leading the team season after season, motivating the players to accomplish their goals (and score some along the way). “Girl soccer players have heart in everything they do,” said Minnax. “Whether it’s in fitness or in soccer, they bring a different kind of passion for the game.”

It seems as though Minnax never leaves the soccer field. In the off-season and throughout the year, she trains and conditions athletes from all around Atlanta through her business which she started in 2003. “My favorite part is seeing everyone’s progress,” said Minnax. “Ultimately, it’s not even the soccer aspect, but in everyone I train, I see them build so much more confidence on and off the field.”

Minnax is looking forward to the start of this upcoming season, where she has five returning seniors ready to assist her in leading the team. With a change in regions, this year will bring a new lineup of competition. “I’m hoping for a really good season,” said Minnax. “Obviously our season got cut short last season and I think everyone is going to be super hungry.”

Hopefully, this season will reach completion despite the threat of Covid 19. Many players are itching with anticipation as tryouts start the second week of January to pick up where they left off last season. Ultimately, Warriors can expect to kick off the season with an extreme passion for the game and unmatched leadership thanks to the support of their beloved, longtime coach, Tara Minnax. Go Dubs!