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McNeese hires Gary Goff as new head football coach

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:40 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Nearly two weeks following the departure of Frank Wilson, McNeese has found its 18th head football coach in program history in Gary Goff. The former Valdosta State head coach was coaching in the DII national championship just two days ago. That type of success is what had him at the top of Athletics Director Heath Shroyer’s shortlist.

“The top of my list was Gary Goff, and all through the week and all through the process I ended up right where we started and he’s a winner,” Athletics Director Heath Shroyer said. “Here’s what I do know, there’s a lot about soccer and football that I don’t know, but I know what a coach looks like. I know how communication looks like but the thing I looked at was, let me see how he communicates with his Quarterback. Let me see how he communicates with his coaching staff.”

Goff’s road to Lake Charles has been like climbing a staircase. Each step or head coaching job came with higher expectations. He first turned around Tiffin University, before continuing a winning culture at Valdosta State going 23-2 in two seasons.

“I’ve learned a lot taking over a program that has never won and then taking over a program that always wins,” said Head Coach Gary Goff. “Some might think that’s an easy transition, it’s not. I’ve walked into a room of 120 guys staring and going ‘What have you done? We’ve won a national championship here before.’ But we are going to work hard, we are going to stick to our values. I think that is important and that helps us create a culture. That’s how I turned the program there at Tiffin is we created a winning culture that took their egos off when they walked inside our building and once you can get the guys buying into that, then you start having them paying attention to details. Just do things the right way and that starts to carry over onto the playing field.”

Goff makes the transition from Division II to the FCS but is aware of the prestige and expectations of McNeese football from his time as an assistant coach at Southland rival Southeastern.

“Back then we brought the program back at Southeastern. they were on a hiatus for 18 years and that was a lot of fun and I’ll never forget McNeese State coming over there and they whipped our tail” said Head Coach Gary Goff. “So I remember standing on the other sideline just thinking about that is an unbelievable program and that they’ve got it going on and we are going to do that again. We are going to get that done.”

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