Jim Gazzolo column: Goff will buy key coins – American Press
When Gary Goff started his career as a head coach, he had a lot of rebuilding work to do.
He did it at Tiffin University in Ohio.
He then moved to his alma mater, Valdosta State, Georgia. There he had to keep a winning train on track.
He did it just as well.
Now Goff has a different job to do, unique in college football.
Goff is resuming a McNeese State program that is clearly down but far from over. He was touched by both self-inflicted and Mother Nature issues.
With Goff succeeding Frank Wilson, that page has officially turned.
The Cowboys don’t need a major rebuild, but rather rebuilding themselves.
It might sound like a nice way to put it, but the point is, the program is far from in a desperate state. Sure it needs some work, but it’s more of a DIY than a redesign.
It’s easy to see the 2021 dual season as a failure, but it wasn’t. The combined mark of 7-11 was far from good, but also far from bottoming out.
With a few plays here and here, and a kicking game to start, McNeese could have been 11-7 or even 12-6. It’s something Goff can lean on.
Yes, the Cowboys need to add depth and talent to qualifying positions, but they have a lot of pieces to work with.
But before Goff can set up his offense and defense, he needs to sell himself to the players in the locker room. This is nothing new for him.
“We will have to recruit our kids again,” Goff said. “I’m going to tell the players that I understand that sometimes change is difficult. I will tell them that we are going to get out of this, that I am here to work with them and not against them.
Goff said he hopes to talk to all the players and make sure they understand he plans to do things “the right way”.
For now, the majority of McNeese’s players seem ready to listen. Only a few made it into the NCAA transfer portal, and those happened before Goff was hired.
Not bad when you consider what’s going on across the country.
Of course, there are still a few holes to fill on the list, especially if Goff is going to use his wide open attack. And the most glaring weakness seems to be at the quarterback level.
There is little experience in the QB room, so adding one through the portal would be ideal.
Goff said he would review this in the coming days, while finding other positions. But it’s not strictly a silver bullet either.
“We have to go into the portal and find some guys to help us win, and I’m sure we can do that, but it’s a band-aid,” Goff said. “You have to be able to recruit high school kids to support what you’re trying to do. “
With the Southland Conference in a state of flux and the best four quarterbacks gone, if Goff can keep what he’s got and add the good guys he needed, McNeese could perhaps bounce back faster than people think. .
It all comes down to Goff’s ability to win the room when he finds himself in front of his players. The season may be months away, but for Gary Goff it’s already game time.
Jim Gazzolo is a freelance writer covering Mc-Neese State athletics for the American press. Email him at