Corey Goff’s off to Miami

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In the summer of 2000, Corey Goff was in the home of Muhlenberg’s former Head Football Coach, Mike Donnelly. Not to go over game plans or discuss football, a passion both men shared. Rather, the two painted rooms in Donnelly’s home, roughly two weeks Goff had been hired to join Donnelly’s staff at Muhlenberg College. “How do you say no to your new boss when he asks if you can give him a hand?” asked Goff jokingly.

Donnelly found Goff through Albany football coach Bob Ford; a “common mentor,” as Goff described. Goff’s first gig under Donnelly was not as a painter, rather an offensive assistant with the ‘Berg football team. Just a season later Goff was promoted — a trend which would continue throughout his 18 year tenure at Muhlenberg — to the football team’s offensive coordinator.

Goff admits that when he took that assistant coaching position even he did not anticipate such a large chunk of his career would be dedicated to the Mules athletic department.

My professional goals have changed periodically as my career and personal life has developed over the past 20+ years,” he said. “When I joined the Muhlenberg community 18 years ago, I thought I would be here for two or three years and move on to coach football at a larger school as an assistant coach or become a head coach at another small liberal arts college.”

However, each promotion moved Goff’s interests to staying at Muhlenberg and fostering his career in the many shades of red the College has adopted throughout his time. Smack in the middle of his five seasons (2001-2005) as the offensive coordinator another promotion was headed in Goff’s direction.

In 2003 Goff was named an assistant athletic director by former athletic director Sam Beidleman, which opened Goff’s eyes to world of athletic administration. “After my first year as an assistant AD I knew I wanted to become an athletic director,” explained Goff. Sam asked me to start helping out with some administrative duties in the department,” said Goff. “I enjoyed the work, so he obliged by giving me more responsibility.”

“I thought I would be here for two or three years and move on to coach football at a larger school as an assistant coach or become a head coach at another small liberal arts college” – Corey Goff

Goff’s duties increased yet again in 2007 and 2008 when he became the head baseball coach while also taking on the responsibilities of associate athletic director. The added responsibility and titles were worth it for Goff.  “The following five years my responsibilities grew and I became increasingly motivated to serve the college as the AD once Sam retired,” he says.

By the time Beidleman’s retirement came Goff was prepared. “I had gained enough administrative experience to be a viable candidate for the job,” he said.

In 2012, Goff was named the Director of Athletics and Recreation, a promotion which would be his last at Muhlenberg College, as the 18 year duration of Goff’s tenure in Allentown will conclude in May of 2018. Goff is moving to Miami to become the Director of Athletics and Physical Education of Ransom Everglades School. The move leaves Goff only a few short months to reminisce about the memories which turned a short term vision into an 18 year reality.

“To me it has been more about the people I have been fortunate enough to work with during my time at Muhlenberg,” Goff reflected. “I have been mentored by our student athletes, their families, my colleagues in the athletic department, our amazing alumni and employees from every corner of this campus.”

Two of those individuals have specifically stood out to Goff. “Mike Donnelly and Sam Beidleman have had the most profound impact on my professional success,” he said. “I will forever be in their debt.”

Goff took on the role of Acting Head Football Coach during the 2017 season in the wake of Mike Donnelly’s battle with cancer. He lead the team to an 8-3 record and an ECAC Bowl Game victory. Photo Courtesy of Muhlenberg Athletics.

The reason Goff endlessly stressed thanking those he has worked with is simple, they have surrounded him throughout his greatest Muhlenberg memories. “By far the best part of this job is the daily interaction and relationships with our student athletes.” Those who he worked for, and worked hard for.        

In fact, Goff’s favorite stories of his time on campus revolve around seeing student athletes succeeding, sometimes in unconventional fashion. He recalls shoveling nearly two feet of snow off of the field at Scotty Wood Stadium a few years ago to make sure the football team could play against conference rival Dickinson College. He remembers Brian Beck hitting a grand slam against Johns Hopkins with his elderly grandfather in the stands, noting he thought it was the only game the fan ever attended. Goff especially appreciated his occasional Campus Safety ride-alongs. “The reaction when student athletes saw me get out of the patrol car to observe an officer break up a ‘study gathering’ were often priceless,” Goff joked.

“To me it has been more about the people I have been fortunate enough to work with during my time at Muhlenberg”

Looking ahead, Goff’s is confident in the smooth transition to southern Florida. “The school has 76 teams between the middle and high school and a full physical education department that includes 5 days of physical education through 8th grade for all students,” explained Goff. “I will be charged with providing leadership for all coaches and teachers.” Goff especially looks forward to being able to share the educational experience with his sons Michael and Collin, ages 10 and 12, respectively.

As for now, Goff hopes to enjoy his last semester at Muhlenberg while seeing the teams succeed, and spending time with the people he has been able to connect with in his 18 year stretch. “So many great people have had tremendous influence on my time at the college. There is no way for me to list them all without feeling like I left someone off that deserves mention,” he says.

Every new position (at Muhlenberg) has offered a new set of exciting opportunities,” stated Goff. “I just hope people felt I worked hard for the College and that together, the members of our team provided an opportunity for our student athletes to excel during their time at the college. I have enjoyed the ride.

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