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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of December 5 - 11, 2001

  Opinion Column

Goodwin resigns as Wolverine volleyball coach

Takes similar job with Community School

Express Staff Writer

East Fork resident Reamy Goodwin, the winningest coach in the 26-year history of Wood River High volleyball, resigned his varsity coaching job Thursday after 12 years of guiding varsity teams and 15 years with the Hailey program.

He was out of a job for about 15 minutes.

Only the third coach in the program’s history, Goodwin left Wood River to become head volleyball coach at The Community School in Sun Valley.

"We’re sorry to lose a class act like Reamy, but we definitely wish him well in the future," said Wood River athletic director Ron Martinez. "He resigned his coaching position to take a job with The Community School as its volleyball coach."

Community School athletic director John Remington said Goodwin will be a welcome addition to the Cutthroat program.

Remington said that Nancy Weekes Fenn, the current Cutthroat varsity coach and a former Cutthroat player, encouraged Remington to hire Goodwin. Fenn is expected to continue as assistant coach.

Goodwin, 43, one of the most respected figures in Gem State volleyball, elected to move from the bigger school environment of Wood River—a 3A school that will be moving up to 2A in a couple of years—down to the small-school 1A circles of The Community School.

Usually coaches migrate the other way, from small school to big school. Goodwin said he is comfortable with his decision.

Father of three young children, Goodwin said he left Wood River for personal and family reasons.

He said, "I couldn’t imagine being out of the game so this is a way to stay in it. Coaching at The Community School will be a little simpler."

Practice sessions, for instance, will be from 4-6 p.m. at The Community School, enabling him to be home for dinner. Practices at Wood River were 5:30-7:30 p.m. Traveling distances will be shorter in the Northside Conference, in many cases halved compared to Hailey’s trips for matches.

"We will be moving up a division and a lot of traveling will be involved in the future, which would have been be hard on Reamy and his family," said Martinez.

Unlike many athletic coaches, Goodwin is not employed as a teacher. Currently he is the developer behind the proposed 5B Sports Center to be located in Hailey.

For Goodwin, taking the Cutthroat job is coming full circle.

He helped coach The Community School when he first came to the Wood River Valley in 1984. That year, its first with a volleyball team, the Cutthroats unexpectedly won the State A-4 title for coach Nancy Parsons Brown.

"It was a lucky break," said Goodwin. "I moved to town Oct. 1, 1984. Down at Hemingway gym on my second day here I met Jim Hodge, whose daughters were on The Community School volleyball team. He suggested I help coach. That’s what I did the last three weeks of the season."

Raised mainly in Carmel, Ca., Goodwin graduated from the Univ. of Wyoming in 1981 with a history degree.

His father taught and coached at Northwestern University and Stetson in Florida, finally ending up as the golf coach at Stanford University where he coached Tiger Woods. The Goodwins spent summers at the family’s Rafter Y Ranch near Sheridan, Wyo.

After his short stint at The Community School in 1984, Goodwin assisted volleyball coach Darlene Bailey at Boise State University and entered the Wood River program in 1987 as junior varsity coach under Dave Neumann.

Fifteen years of full-time coaching have caused Goodwin to change his view of the importance of athletics in the lives of young people

"Winning used to be everything," said Goodwin, the winningest coach in Wood River sports history who is himself a gifted natural athlete. "Now it’s just part of it.

"I want to have a great experience with the kids. Personally I find that perspective so much healthier. It’s just been a great learning thing for me.

"What I’ve learned in coaching is that delivery is everything. It’s how people present themselves—to the athletes, to other coaches, the officials, parents, to everyone involved in the game."

Goodwin’s resignation came on the heels of what he views as some of his greatest coaching successes over the last three years.

Respect from his peers has accompanied his coaching maturity. At the end of tournaments, Wolverine athletes and even those on other teams have displayed genuine affection for Goodwin. Opposing coaches have solicited his advice, which he gives graciously.

In November, Goodwin earned his second consecutive Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference "Coach of the Year" award for guiding the Wolverines to a 20-15 record and Hailey’s second straight SCIC tournament title.

In an evenly-balanced league, Wood River did a difficult thing, winning the regular-season league title and upholding its top-seeded status throughout the league tournament.

His 12-year record of 277-175 (.613) including seven district tournament titles has eclipsed the overall record of his predecessor, Dave Neumann (243-97 in 13 fall campaigns from 1977-89). Neumann went to state 10 times in 12 years and earned the only two state volleyball championships for Wood River, in 1977 and 1978.

Goodwin’s glory years with the Wolverines were 1994-98, a string of five straight district titles, five consecutive 30-win seasons and a 160-51 overall record (.758).

The 1996 Wolverines finished with a school-record 36-7 mark. His 1997 Wood River squad (32-8) finished second to Bear Lake in a thrilling State A-2 tournament finale, and the 1998 Hailey edition ended up with a 31-8 record. Players on those teams like Kristyn Price and Amy Sturtevant went on to successful college careers.

But Goodwin said the last three seasons, despite the 51-58 records his Wolverine teams logged from 1999-2001, were probably his best as a coach.

In each season Wood River improved to the point where the girls were playing their best volleyball at the crucial testing ground of the district tournament.

He said, "Being able to mold the kids to get them playing well and peaking in the tournament was very satisfying for me. Really, I think my teams are better now, because I’m a better coach."

Leaving Wood River will be hard, he said.

"It’s a sad thing. Fifteen years at Wood River—you have so many friends, coaches, administrators and of course the kids. But I’m also excited about the new opportunity," he said.

Goodwin said he was told by WRHS principal Grant Hume that the school will wait to make a decision on a new volleyball coach until the spring of 2002, and that the preference will be for a teacher/coach.

When he resigned, Goodwin suggested two prospects who have showed interest in the past—current Centennial coach Steve Bartlett, who helped Goodwin with the local club volleyball program, and Shane Stent, a California resident who assisted Goodwin with the 1997 state runner-up team.

Goodwin and his wife of seven years, Louise, have three young children; Georgy, 6, Jack, 4 and Ry, who will be 2 in February.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.