Goodwin: A Mission for Stability
AUTHOR: Lacy Camp
Hoping to bring stability back to Alexandria Senior High School, Sam Goodwin is returning for a second season.
After being introduced as the new head coach at Alexandria Senior High (ASH) in December 2013, Goodwin is hoping to continue what he started in the 2014 season.
“I was the fourth coach in four years at ASH,” Goodwin said. “My main goal was to establish stability and find a good young coach to train and move up to the head position in the near future.”
Goodwin said the key to being able to do this and gaining stability is through trust.
“This is something that is earned by your actions and consistency,” Goodwin said. “It is a continuing process. It also requires you to develop a trust in your players.”
Although the 2015 season will be Goodwin’s second year at ASH, his football career begins at a much younger age.
From playing touch football as a fourth grader to playing tackle football starting in the fifth grade, Goodwin has been involved in sports, particularly football.
“I loved all sports as far back as I can remember,” Goodwin said. “I was always very competitive. Football became my favorite because of the legal contact and the emphasis on toughness.”
In high school Goodwin’s football career began to pick up, as he was a starting junior offensive tackle on the 1960 Pineville state championship team until an unfortunate injury occurred his senior year.
“I broke my ankle in the jamboree my senior year and only got to play in our last playoff game,” Goodwin said. “I could barely run and had to beg my doctor to release me to play in that game.”
Despite his injury early in the school year, Goodwin did have a good track season in which he broke the school discus record and finished second in the state track meet.
Since his injury only allowed him to play his senior year’s last football playoff game, Goodwin said that it made him determined to get back into football.
“I missed it (football) so much that in my mind I was determined that I was going to play college football and become a football coach,” Goodwin said. “Louisiana College offered me a tuition scholarship that spring, but I wanted to go to college away from home so I walked on at Henderson State and earned the only football scholarship they had available at mid term.”
After making the decision to become a coach, Goodwin has been around the block quite a few times in the coaching profession on high school and collegiate levels.
Best known for his 17 years at Northwestern State University (NSU), Goodwin became the most decorated coach in the school’s history.
While at NSU, Goodwin compiled a school record of 102 victories and led the Demons to four Southland Conference championships, three Division I-AA playoffs and the 1998 Division I-AA national semifinals.
Goodwin also coached 22 All-Americans and 38 of his NSU players went to the NFL.
“NSU was good to me,” Goodwin said. “We didn’t get many blue chip recruits, but our kids didn’t come with big egos. They were fun to coach and as a general rule had a great work ethic and something to prove.”
After leaving NSU, Henderson State welcomed home their former All-American guard where he became the athletics director and served for 10 years.
“I still had an affection for my alma mater, but I had never really had a desire to be in administration,” Goodwin said. “I just remember how relaxed I became when I finally decided to give up coaching. It was like a big load had been lifted off of me, even though I never felt extreme pressure.”
Under Goodwin’s time as AD, Henderson State’s sports teams won seven conference titles, and several teams appeared in regional and national championship events.
When Goodwin finished his last year as AD, he decided to finally retire. Which only lasted for three months.
“I have no hobbies like hunting, fishing, golfing or working in the yard,” Goodwin said. “I was just sitting on the couch at home watching TV and getting lazy so I decided to be useful and coach high school football again.”
Goodwin returned to the coaching scene when taking the reigns as head coach at De Queen High School in Arkansas for three seasons where he finished with 10 victories.
At the end of Goodwin’s second season at De Queen, he led the team to a 6-6 record and the second round of playoffs. In his third season, his team finished 2-8 as the smallest school in a new Class 5A classification.
Following his time at De Queen, Goodwin nabbed his first head football coaching position at a Louisiana high school when he joined the program at ASH.
After a 1-9 record, losing eight seniors and having 32 juniors promoting to be seniors, Goodwin is looking forward to his second season at ASH.
“We should be an improved football team,” Goodwin said. “Having a quarterback like Matthew Beck helps a lot. I have never been around a QB who could throw as well as he can. “
Although a QB will help ASH in the upcoming season, Goodwin said there is more work needing to be done.
“We have to get better up front on both sides of the ball and develop some quality depth,” Goodwin said. “If all that happens, I can see us being very competitive.”
Writer Lacy Camp
Lacy is from Homer, LA and graduated from Homer High School. She currently attends Louisiana Tech for a journalism and sports marketing degree. She has served as a reporter for the Guardian Journal, Haynesville News, the Tech Talk, and Varsity Preps. She started working as an intern for LAFM in April 2015. You can follow her on twitter at @lacy_camp.