By CHRIS HOBBS
CATAWBA – After 32 years of sharing in a way that made him beloved in the Bandys High community, Jim (Goody) Goodwin is retiring from teaching and coaching to move into a few new roles.
Goodwin, who turns 55 on June 14, said Thursday he won’t be back at Bandys next school year and is — among other things — preparing to be a first-time grandfather. He and his wife, Patti, are expecting the arrival of a grandchild next month.
He could have retired three years ago but came back to complete 32 years on the varsity football staff and the same number of years coaching the Trojans’ track and field teams.
Throughout his football coaching career he worked in some capacity as an assistant coach for the Bandys varsity and with the junior varsity program as well. In some years, Bandys used split coaching staffs and in other years the entire coaching staff worked with the JV and varsity.
Goodwin, who came to Bandys in 1986 as an assistant to head coach Tony Paroli, was on the varsity staff every year. He coached offensive and defensive linemen, running backs, wide outs or whatever helped the Trojans be successful.
He also was one of the more easy going coaches on the staff who enjoyed both light-hearted moments – especially with student-athletes and those he taught in the classroom – and the balance of being tough and straight forward when the situation dictated that.
“I’m a real person,” Goodwin said when asked on Thursday why he thought he was the fit he became in Bandys athletics for so long. “I say what I mean. Don’t lie to me. And when you are real, they (youth) know it.”
Goodwin, a 1981 Salisbury graduate, visited a Catawba County luncheon back in 1986 after he had transferred from Lees-McRae and graduated from Ole Miss in 1985 with a degree in history.
At that luncheon, he sat beside current Catawba County Schools athletic director Dwayne Finger and met Allen Biggerstaff, then principal at Bandys.
Biggerstaff later offered Goodwin a job at Bandys, one he accepted even though he’d also been offered a job at Salisbury, where he played center, guard and tackle in 1979 and 1980 on football teams that each went 7-3 under Mike Carter.
On Thursday, Goodwin said he remembers the first day he visited Bandys. His Goody-like response, he recalled: ‘Cool, I like it here.’”
He said he considered returning for another year 2018 but decided he wasn’t up for making a third transition in head coaches. After Paroli left, Goodwin worked 26 years for Randy Lowman and five more for his son, Trent.
Trent Lowman resigned last month to become head football coach at East Surry.
On Monday, the Trojans announced Tom Eanes, head coach the last four seasons at Patton, as their next head football coach.
He did not miss a Bandys varsity game during his 32 years there, coaching in 393 of them (237-155-1). The Trojans were 123-91 in league games in that span and won three league titles, shared three others and reached a state title game three times.
“I think it all worked out for me,” Goodwin said.
He said he most appreciated the people he worked with on a day-to-day basis.
“Every one of them,” he said. “Great people from Day 1.”