I've been witness to Rich and his coaching since 1998 when I was in Grade 8 at Saint Thomas Aquinas and we went out to Pitt Camp, I saw him win Championships, but more importantly it helped form the base of who I am as a coach and some of the things I try to be. I thought to myself what were some of the life lessons that we can all learn from Rich. It also makes me happy to know that I got to interview him for over an hour a few months ago and document some of the great things he's done in his life and coaching career. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLs8E2QciIo&t=2s)
Here are a few things I think we can take away:
Work ethic matters.
Rich would coach one team, after another. Grade 8, grade 10, senior, provincial teams, high school club teams, elementary school camp. He didn’t care, just wanted to coach. He put in the time every day. New age mindset believes in balance… Rich believed balance was a synonym for average and he wanted nothing to do with average. He put in the time, he demanded others put in the time and the results speak for themselves. On the court for sure but the amount of impact he had off the court has been cool to see in the last 24 hours as people from all over the world have written thank you notes and posted them all over social media.
When your leader is all in, its hard to take a play off. Leadership is also hard. Some people aren’t going to like you or your methods, but you ignore them and keep going. He believed in doing things the right way, getting in the gym, putting in the time, dedicating yourself to your craft and then fulfilling your goals.
Getting other people better doesn’t make you worse.
Pitt camp helped boys basketball in our province for decades. It also kept kids busy and out of trouble in the dog days of summer. Kids would gather once a year in Pitt meadows and the surrounding gyms and get a weeks worth of basketball and prep for the upcoming season. It was something that thousands of kids look back fondly on. I know I do, I still remember some of the coaches putting us through drills and teaching us different things that would help us to get better. Helping all of us and giving us a funnel to allow us to improve as players wouldn’t necessarily make his own teams better but what it did was allow the game to grow.
Sure you can tag along just don’t slow us down.
I remember when Howard Kelsey gave Rich Goulet and Rich Chambers an award for the years they had been coaching at the old HSBC tourney they were going down to Arizona to watch the men's team practice at U of A and also watch the women's team practice. I was a young kid who didn’t know any better so I was talking to Rich Chambers and asked if he would let me tag along. He said I'm not really the one setting this up, I’ll get Goulet to call you. Goulet calls and says Richie says you wanna come on the trip. You want to get better at coaching? I say yes. He says ok you can come and tag along just don’t slow us down… 😊 No problem, I was in, it was a quick trip but I got to ask a bunch of questions as grow as a coach. In reality I had no businesses hanging out with these two basketball savants but they let me learn and I am still grateful over 10 years later.
He leaves a legacy of a man who had a tremendous impact on a lot of people. No one is perfect and I don’t think he thought he was perfect, but his effort was there, his drive was there, his commitment to helping kids get better was always there. In the summer with one leg on a wobbly chair he was outside at Pitt River Middle school showing a kid how to shoot. Heck, he helped teach me how to coach shooting. His teams could always shoot. He believed in structure and work ethic and grit and drive and a whole bunch of things that are sometimes passed to the side now a days and I will personally remember them for as long as I live.
Rest in peace Rich Goulet, thank you for impacting
so many of our lives in a positive manner.