Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
Tom Goehle feels blessed. Every day he is given the opportunity to go out and coach the game he loves, while spreading his faith and positivity along the way. We sat down with the assistant women’s basketball coach to talk about his transition to the women’s game, coaching success and travels.
- High School: Hills Beaver Creek
- College: Minnesota State-Mankato
- First Job: Area Director at the Fellowship of the Christian Athlete (FCA)
- First Basketball Job: Volunteer assistant girls basketball coach at Hills Beaver Creek High School
- Last Job Before NDSU: University of Sioux Falls assistant women’s basketball coach
- Player Idolized Growing Up: Larry “The Legend” Bird
Bison Illustrated: I’m told coaching runs in your blood.
Tom Goehle: “Yes, my dad coached for 40 years. I saw the influence he had on people’s lives in a very positive way, and you get to that point and you think, ‘What kind of impact can I make on other people’s lives?’”
BI: What was something he passed to you in regards to coaching and affecting the lives of these college students?
TG: “My dad loved what he did and he did what he loved… I think more than anything, taking that from him and trying to embrace each day, each practice, each opportunity I have when I’m out recruiting, and every relationship that I encounter is really a blessing.”
BI: Did you ever imagine coaching women’s basketball after you graduated?
TG: “(Laughs) When I left college basketball, I thought that I would probably coach guys—coaching girls never crossed my mind… I fell in love with it because I found out that these ladies took great pride in getting better with the little things.”
BI: What took you by surprised when you started coaching high school women’s basketball?
TG: “I had no idea what I was getting into… I think they taught me a lot because they would let go of a loss a lot sooner than I would. Not that they are any more or less intense than I was, they just had a way of letting go of losses sooner, and I have learned a lot from those young ladies. You can be passionate and pursue it, and want it really bad, but when it’s over, life goes on, and that was a neat perspective.”
BI: You were in Australia for some time. What brought you there?
TG: “Originally, when I was at the University of Sioux Falls, we talked about the idea of recruiting overseas. …You find out that there’s really good talent and kids who could fit. Shortly after one of my trips there, I took the job at NDSU and it was only natural for me to say, ‘Hey, these are some of the kids I have seen there who are Division I talent and are great kids, good students, and have a good personalities.”
BI: You mentioned being a part of Fellowship of the Christian Athlete earlier. Is that something you’re still involved with?
TG: “Yes. I love it. It’s just another way in which you can really make a positive impact in athlete’s lives. … I think it helps with the pressure the athletes have today to perform and to succeed. Their plate is full. I think there’s a lot of stress today and it’s good to have one another, and the element of faith that they can share with each other is a great outlet.”
BI: How does basketball and your faith mix?
TG: “I needed to find the faith on my own, because the time I put my faith in Jesus was something that really helped shape me … but the talent and abilities God gave me in basketball and athletics was a way that I could give back to him and to others.”
BI: What’s your definition of success?
TG- “For me, one of the things is loving God and loving people. And that’s really what success is and what it boils down to. If you can base success off of these things you are going to be extremely successful. The talent and abilities God gave me in basketball and athletics was a way that I could give back to him and to others.”