April 16, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After spending 16 years at the helm of the Maryland track and field program, head coach Bill Goodman has announced he will retire following the end of this year's outdoor season. As both a runner and a coach, Goodman has dedicated nearly 30 years of his life to the success of the Terp track program.
He began his storied career at Maryland as a student-athlete, a four-year letterwinner in track. He was the IC4A triple jump champion in 1975 and qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1973, '74 and '75. Goodman excelled off the track as well, serving as vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa, an honor fraternity representing outstanding academic leadership achievement. His ability to balance athletics and schoolwork then is a talent he strives to teach his athletes today.
"Coach Goodman has always respected that we are students as well as athletes," said senior pole vaulter Natalie Dye. "He has been very supportive of our academic pursuits in addition to our athletic ones."
After graduating from Maryland in 1975, Goodman went on to become an assistant coach under Frank Costello. It was during this time he had the opportunity to coach multiple All-American athletes, including triple jumper Michelle Payne, considered to be one of America's all-time best in her events.
In 1983, Goodman briefly left the program for a head-coaching job at nearby Eleanor Roosevelt High School. His influence there was nearly immediate, as he led the men's team to a 1984 indoor state championship and the women's cross country team to a 1986 state championship. He returned to Maryland in 1988 to replace Stan Pitts and began his position as head coach of the Terrapins.
During his tenure as assistant coach and head coach, he has tutored 16 All-Americans, including Ruth Kura in 2002, 37 All-ACC performers and 35 ACC Champions, most recently in 2002 with Toni Jefferson winning the 60 meters and 200 meters. In addition to his value as a coach to the athletes, Goodman has also served as a teacher to his assistant coaches.
"He taught me a great many things about track, coaching track, and just about life and nature in general. He taught me how to be more professional, how to actually run a team, besides being a coach," said assistant coach Donald Thomas, who has worked with Goodman for eight years.
This year's track and field roster boasts a large class of extremely talented newcomers, and the new coach will shoulder the responsibility of developing these youngsters into team leaders in upcoming years. But in the meantime, Goodman has his sights set on a strong completion of the outdoor season.
"He pours his heart into ensuring that the program is the best it can be," said Thomas. "Both myself and the athletes on the team will definitely miss him."