Sports Feature: Coach Rich Goulet – A Very Special Coaching Career

By on September 4, 2017

Rich Goulet has coached basketball for 49 seasons. He has won over 2,500 games! Pitt Meadows Today Editor David Murray sat down with Coach “Goulet” to reflect on his very special coaching career. [Click On Image For Full Story]

Rich Goulet holding the B.C. AAA Championship basketball trophy his team won in 1989 and in 2000.

Dave Murray: Thanks for meeting with me today Rich . I wanted to congratulate you on starting your successful football program.
Rich Goulet: Yes, the football program was new to Pitt Meadows just a couple of years ago , we have come a long way so far with the development of the players and the teams profile.
DM: Rich, when did you start coaching basketball?

RG: I started coaching in 1965 at Our Lady of Lourdes school. I remember my first win came against Our Lady of Fatima in Maillardville. DM: When did you move over to St.Thomas More to coach basketball?
RG: I moved over to STM in 1968-69 to coach the Junior team, I was a student teacher. My first position as a teacher/coach at STM came in 1969-70.
DM: You won over 300 games at STM , was your team very good in 69-70?
RG: Yes actually it was a very good team, it was a start of a long winning tradition at STM. Dan Cahill and Don Commons were the stars of that team
DM: When was the first time your team made the B.C. Tournament?
RG: It was in 1972-73 with this group I started with in 69-70. We finished 3rd in 1973 , we lost to a Houston Secondary team that had the Janzen brother’s on it. They were both very big and talented players.
DM: That was considered single “A” at the time is that correct?
RG: Yes , now it would be at the “AA” level.

Rich Goulet's first coaching experience at Our Lady of Lourdes.

DM: You made the BC tournament at the Pacific Coliseum in 1974 at what would be considered the “AAA” level now. RG: Yes , we finished in the Final Four that year and we got to play in front of a very big crowd.
DM: Your team went on to win your first B.C. championship the next season.
RG: We won on Joe Thierman’s last second shot which helped us down Shawingan Lake. Shawingan was lead by tourney MVP Ian Hyde-Lay who went on to coach Steve Nash in high school at SMUS in Victoria.
DM: You had a lot to do with the expansion of the “Chancellor Tournament” arguably the best tournament of its day in B.C. in the 1970′s. What gave you the inspiration to put together a tournament like this?
RG: I took my team to the St. Francis Tournament in Calgary in 1971, it was from that structure the Chancellor tournament evolved.
DM: When did you move over to Pitt Meadows?
RG: It was the season of 1979-80.
DM: What did you think of the school at that time?
RG: I thought I was in the basketball abyss. The school had nothing, no tradition, the student athlete’s of the era did not understand commitment.
DM: What was your team’s record that year?
RG: I believe it was 6-19.
DM: Things got better , did they not?
RG: Yes, the next season we finished with a 19-25 record , Greg Bodnarchuk, Blair D’Andrea, Steve Beckett and Joel Neufeld made a solid contribution that year. I only had 8 players that year and the year previous. I made the players run suicide (lines) in the gym. During the second set of lines a lot of the players just kept walking to the exit door and did not come back. I think I started with 18-20 players in pre-season.

Pitt Meadows championship team 2000

DM: A lot of people in the community feel that you and your basketball program put Pitt Meadows on the map. How do you feel about that comment? RG: I feel very good about that kind of comment. It was with a lot of hard work by many outstanding young men that we were able achieve this accomplishment together. There is a lot of pride in our basketball program and community, like an extended family.
DM: It must have been hard at first? Did you have much support from the staff?
RG: Not the teachers, they were not supportive of our program. The principal Mr.John Hobbs was our biggest supportive, we would not have had the early success without his support.
strong>DM: You won your first B.C. Championship at Pitt Meadows in 1982?
RG: Yes, that was my fourth year at Pitt, we went 39-9 that season and went on to defeat Sentinel in the B.C. Single “A” Finals that year. The team that year was lead by Dean Florence, Darrell Scott and Victor Meister. Dean was the MVP that year.

Coach Goulet with his 1989 championship team pictured behind him

DM: Who were the toughest coaches you ever had to face as a high school coach? RG: Rich Chambers , Don Van Os, Ken Dockendorf, Bill Disbrow, Arnie Dick, Bill Edwards and Marinus Hoersting were among some of the toughest to play against.
DM: You coached Steve Nash when he played on the “B.C. Elite” team in the summer of 1991. Do you have any special stories about Steve?
RG: I remember he was a very fine player. He did not see the floor as well as he could have at that time, he like to only pass to a few players on the team and ignored some players that may have been open at certain points of the game. Steve and I had a 2 hour conversation about that in Las Vegas at a tournament that summer. When we got back to Vancouver , Steve asked if I would drive him to the ferry, he lived in Victoria of course. He really had that burning desire to improve, He promised me , “Coach when I get back from the Island I will be a different player”.
We went on to play in the Canadian championship’s that summer, I think Steve had 47 points in the semi-final. We played Alberta in the final and with just over a minute to play and being down by one I sat Steve down on the bench. He wanted to play every second of every game. He looked at me with 30 seconds left in the game. He said coach “What do you need me to do?” . I put Steve back in the game , he came down the floor everybody expecting him to take the last shot and he it an open man for a basket with no time left on the clock to force overtime. We won the Gold Medal and Steve went on to win the MVP at the B.C.’s with SMUS in Victoria . He later went on to play college at Santa Clara before being drafted by the Phoenix Suns

Rich Goulet and Steve Nash (player #12)

DM: Did you think Steve was going to be an NBA player in 1991? RG: I had probably coached some better players than Steve at that level J.D.Jackson from Vernon and Ron Putzi were two players that come to mind, But Steve no doubt was the hardest working player I ever coached and I guess that goes to show you what hard work can do!
DM: Rich, What were you greatest teams?
RG: At STM 1974 and 1978. At Pitt 1983, 1989 when we won our first “AAA” Championship with Derek Welsh MVP and Dan Beebe, 1992 where we finished 2nd to Steve Nash at SMUS, Scott Walton was our star player on that team. And of course our 2000 team which won the BC Championship which was lead by Aaron Christensen, Shane Kool, Brian Robinson and Mike Alain.
DM: What teams do you think were the best high school teams of all-time?
RG: The 1983 Abbotsford Panthers, 1976 North Surrey Spartans, the Kazanowski Nanaimo teams, the early 1990′s Terry Fox teams as well as a lot of the Disbrow Richmond Colt teams.
DM: Any last thoughts Rich you would like to pass on to our readers of the Pitt Meadows Today?
RG: Yes, a lot of people often ask me if kids have changed over the years? They really haven’t changed Dave.

If you give your best effort as a coach your kids/players will respond to a “High Level”

DM: Well said Rich, good luck with the 2011-12 edition of the Pitt Meadows “Marauders”!

About The Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *