An oldie, but a 'Goody'

Michael Christopher
Sports Editor

Bandys’ football coach has been with program 32 years

By Michael Christopher

Thirty-two years.

Mr. James Goodwin, or 'Goody' as he's called, has been an assistant football coach at Bandys High for 30-plus years.

That's double the ages of the students he's currently teaching and three decades of dedication to the Trojans.
"One reason I've stayed around is I haven't been run off," Goodwin said. "I told them when they get tired of me to tell me and I'll go and leave. I could've retired probably three years ago. This is kind of what I do. I'd kind of be lost if I didn't have football and all that. I'm not really sure what I'd do."

Goodwin got his start in 1986. He didn't know a soul. And that's exactly how he got the nickname.
"It was actually the first day I met everybody. I came in and coach Paroli, Tony Paroli, was the head coach at Bandys in 1986," Goodwin said. "I interviewed with him and when they gave me the job they brought me and the first time he introduced me he didn't say Coach Goodwin or anything. I got called Coach Goody and I've been Coach Goody ever since for these 32 years."

The nickname is perhaps fitting for a man who has the stature and appearance of a tough guy.
"The good thing about Coach Goodwin is he is who he is and he sticks that and nobody is going to change him. That's a quality that a lot of people, even I, find hard to have," Bandys head football coach Trent Lowman said. "We always try to make people happy and he's not going to go against people but he's not going to change who he is and what he believes in. He's just a good person and I think he knows he's a good person. He's strong in that and he's strong in a faith."

Goodwin admits in his three-plus decades of work he hasn't had many people say they didn't appreciate him or too thrilled by what he's done. He said he tries to do the best job he can every day, but some days are better than others.
"I don't know I might rub some people the wrong way. I'm pretty animated sometimes and they're not too sure what that is. I've never meant to show anybody up or be mean. I just try to do what's right for our kids.

The Trojans coach can count three times where he's had a penalty flag called on him -- and two of them came last year. The first he recalls came in 1991 or '92 and came while coaching the junior varsity squad.
"It was a game against Hibriten and they were worried about the get-back rule. They were worried about the guys on the line," he said. "Basically where we were we didn't have any room so I got kind of upset and I moved all our guys back to the fence and I kind of chunked the clipboard. But I wasn't on the field then I was back at the fence. I wasn't even near the sideline. And he threw a flag on me. He said, 'did you throw that thing?' And I said, 'Yeah. OK, I won't throw it no more.'"
The other two came last season with one against West Lincoln and the other against East Lincoln. The one against East Lincoln came for arguing a blocking downfield call. The penalty against the Rebels was on a pass thrown to the center. Both times Goodwin said he ran his mouth and learned to quickly shut up.
"I get a bad rap with referees. I'll give a referee a hard time but I really don't think I say anything to them until I think we're not getting a fair shake on the field," he said. "And when I feel like we're not getting a fair shake on the field I feel like I've got a right to say something to them then. A lot of times they don't want to hear and then I tell them, 'well I'm not the one calling that stuff.'"

Part of his personality is what makes him special. According to Coach Lowman 'Goody' is a big reason why some people come watch the Trojans on Friday nights.
"Passionate. He's extremely passionate," the Bandys football coach said. "Several people will talk about how their favorite part of the game is to watch him on the sidelines. He's extremely passionate and he loves the game of football. He's managed to be a coach and a fan at the same time his whole career."

Loyal is another term often used to describe Goodwin.
"If we ever needed something he was right there and vice versa. When you talk about loyal, dedication and someone you can count on that is Coach Goody. That's really how everybody knows him and what they know about him," the Trojans coach said. "That's one thing that's been missing in society a lot is loyalty. In loyal to your job or whatever it is your responsible for. He's been loyal to that and not looking elsewhere."

Goodwin graduated from Salisbury High in 1981, where he lettered in track, wrestling, and football. He then attended Lees McRae College from 1981-1983 and transferred to The University of Mississippi where he graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in history. He then made his way to Catawba College and received a Social Studies certification.

Bandys has been written all over Goodwin and his family. He married Patti Beatty, a 1983 graduate of Bandys, and their three children -- Luke, Elizabeth and Jesse -- each also graduated from Bandys.

He's taught Civics, U.S. History, World History, Geography, Current Events AP European and has done it so long he's taught, if not coached, the second generation of families.
"It's easy to stay in it when you're working for good people. And Bandys is a pretty good place to work and hang out," Goodwin said. "I haven't really applied for any jobs. Looked at some, but thought about maybe I wanted to apply. Never actually called anybody or put my name in the hat anywhere."

On the gridiron 'Goody' is a guru. He's coached just about every position -- tight ends, defensive line, special teams, quarterbacks -- but mostly offensive line.
"One of the biggest thing about Goody is he's an 'It's going to be OK' guy. It doesn't matter how bad something might be or might be looking like it's going to get or the problem may be, Goodie always says 'It's going to be OK,'" Coach Lowman said. "He's positive. He gets on to players sometimes but he loves them even harder. He's like a statue for us, he's always been there for us -- Never moving, never faltering, never alliterating."

Asked why he's never taken a head coaching job. Goodwin said he's never really thought about applying.
"A lot of jobs in the area have come open. Nobody has ever called me so I guess they didn't really want me anyway. If they really wanted me they would've called me because they'll call people who want to be a head coach. I've never been called."

Along the way, 'Goody' said he's learned some valuable lessons.
"I've learned that if you treat people right they usually do the right thing. There have been some kids that we've tried to treat right and they really didn't want to do the right thing. A lot of times they finished up (with the team) and a lot of times they decided not to come back," he said. "We're not in it for the paycheck because you really don't get paid anything. Catawba County has been really lucky. For the amount they pay they've had some good coaches and a had a lot of people do a lot of real good stuff with their kids. A lot of times we get called out on the carpets, there is not a lot of financial game out there to be had."

On Friday nights whether you're for or against him, he's still 'Goody'.
"It's really all about relationships. If you're a head coach and you don't get along with people I don't really foresee you being a real good head coach. Because you're not going to have anybody that's going to work for you," Goodwin said. "You've got to treat people like you really want to be treated."