Part 5 of 5
THE UNFORGETTABLES: BILLY GOLDSMITH
in the right place at the right time with the right people to be a part of something that is an out of body experience. That’s what it was like on Friday nights in Louisa, KY in the “golden era” of the 90’s! On Friday nights it was like the states biggest revival was in EKY and Coach Goldsmith was the one spitting the gospel! He puked before every game. We came out of the tunnel in tears every single game! It was our community vs anybody that dared look down on us. It was personal especially if you came to Louisa looking for a challenge! . We loved “our people” and they loved us! We couldn’t get enough of each other and we fed off of each other!here are moments in life when you just know you are
The Bulldogs were loaded with talent those three seasons. The following players made the Courier Journal (out of Louisville ) All State team: Josh Sexton, Howard Adams, Shawn Hill, Jay Childers, Keith Best, Stuart Cook, Webb Roberts, Blake Preece, , Lee Abshire, Shawn Cordle, , Morgan Cyrus, Chris Hamilton, James Moore, Travis Phelps and Eric Cantrell . We could easily make the case for many more.
Our passion came from one human though. We just called him “Coach!” He was different. The weekends he spent fishing/hunting with players and former players.He built special bonds that way but I don’t think it was for football. Really think it was because we all loved being around each other so much.
During the week during school he kept us doubled over crying laughing in school (he went on to have a successful stand up comedy career after football). On Friday nights he was a madman! In post game interviews he was the best to ever do it in the tristate!
Saturday mornings we rushed to Paul Chandlers video warehouse to get film from Friday nights game. We’d learn to self correct our mistakes. Shortly after we’d load up the car and go to Coach’s house. He would get up before the sun came up to drive halfway meeting our next opponent to swap film. We’d get to work. By Monday’s practice we would know what the other team was running better than they did by formations and tendencies. Coach was a technical and schematic wizard. He was even better with relationships and motivation. He built a culture where you couldn’t outwork us and mentally/physically you were out of luck!
Coach changed so many lives! His impact will be felt for decades. So many of his players went on to Coach. We came into that program tough kids and left that program as men prepared for the real world. We built a brotherhood so strong that 45-50yr old men would make the trek across the country to be reunited and honor the ones who paved the way for us!
Here’s what some of the guys had to say about Coach Goldsmith:!
I would have never been accepted to a college without his help.
After my junior year my grades where less then desirable. He made out my schedule for my senior year which required me to repeat algebra I and Biology. I had to earn an A in both to have a high enough GPA for college. Mrs Wheeler make it clear that she wasn’t going to cut me any slack. He would check my grades weekly and kept me on track.
You know the rest of the story. Christy and I worked things out in college. 4 years later I ended up with a degree, married, 2 great kids and a career in a profession that I love with the same brotherhood and camaraderie that we had back in the day. Life is good!
He invested a lot in me at a pivotal point in my life. I could have went a lot of different directions at that time. Billy help steer me in a direction that set me up for success.
There are many definitions for coach. One I read years ago is. Coach – One who helps other achieve their goals. Wether on or off the field Coach Goldsmith has always done that for me.All I can say is, being a Supervisor, I try to model myself after Coach Goldsmith. How he treated us. He was tough on us but always cheered us on and tried to improve us. At the time, I thought, he’s trying to make us better players, but he was trying to make us better people. His lessons mean more to me as a Husband, father, Grandfather, and a Supervisor than they ever did as a football player. Life is tough, he was tougher.
What he meant to my life? It is hard to explain so I will just say that outside of my family, he is the most important person I have ever had in my life. He taught me lessons of working hard and never giving up that have guided me through the toughest times in my life. His influence on me made me want to be a coach and those memories coaching are some of my greatest.
My favorite memories: 1) Late nights catfishing at Vinson’s farm or carp fishing at the dam. I will cherish those memories forever. 2) The time he forearmed a locker and knocked the door off before a game. We would have walked through hell with him that night.
#52 – Class of 1991
I remember one of the things about him, he was a great motivator. During time outs he would come to the huddle. If we weren’t playing up to our ability, that he knew we were able to play at. He would kindly remind us of us of it.
Having my dad as my Coach throughout meant everything to me. Hearing the stories of the impact he had on the lives of these teams made me want to be a coach. We continue to enjoy football together through my coaching.
Wow what Does Coach Goldsmith mean to me…everything. like a second father figure. A man that could motivate like no other. Always there always ready to listen. Always willing to help. He taught you how to be tough, disciplined an compassionate. Most importantly he taught us how to be men. He absolutely means the world to me. Love you Billy Goldsmith aka Captain Crunch.
Aa starting QB my sophomore season, I’ll never forget the support that Coach Goldsmith gave me. I was a small kid playing with some big, big boys. I can’t remember who we were playing, but we had a road trip three or four hours down the road and played a team that was really tough. Goldsmith watched me get creamed several times, but he was talking to the guys on the other team and telling them they couldn’t break me. You wanna play hard for a guy like that.
I had the good fortune to play on two record-setting teams with Coach Goldsmith and he’s absolutely deserving of having his name attached to Lawrence County football forever.
Billy Goldsmith- I remember how we all navigated thru losing Coach Daniels in ‘91, especially Billy. Recall an interview he gave about P Jack. Quote- “He’s a loving man, cared a lot about our kids”. That was certainly true, but also just as true about Billy. Outstanding motivator. Outstanding teacher of fundamentals. Outstanding builder of relationships with players and students. But if I had to sum him up in one word it would be PASSIONATE. A saying goes something like, “If you find something to do that you’re passionate about, you’ll never WORK a day in your life”. That was Billy Goldsmith. It was awesome being around him for five years. Even more awesome that we still stay in touch 35 years later. Great guy!
Coach Garry Morris
Coach Goldsmith in one word: INTENSE. We never had a problem with getting fired up. Best football years of my life! We all had a genuine team mentality. Confidence to win was always there. Coach Goldsmith believed in us and we believed in him.
Please tell coach thank you for letting me be me on and off the field. It felt great to be accepted by coach and my teammates. I wasn’t easy to get along with. Love you guys
Stu said best intense, not only could get you ready to tear people’s heads . He taught us to trust each other, love each other play with our hearts . There has been a lot of talent come through here. Nobody played as hard as we did with our hearts . We trusted Coach, believed in him so much and that’s why he’s so special to all of us . Love ya guys .
We were truly a team and Coach Goldsmith was the heart of that team. He was definitely a great motivator. When he walked into that locker room fired up, I knew, win or lose, we were going to play lights out football. However, it was the small things he did that stands out most to me. For example, I remember those excruciatingly hot summer practices and how he would show up dressed for a winter storm. As a leader, he didn’t ask us to do things that he wasn’t willing to do. On a personal note, he was the only teacher to ask about my college plans and how to pay for it. It was a short conversation, but it has stood out to me all these years. Outside of my family, Coach was one of the most influential people to me during that time in my life.
Goldsmith was more like a father figure he’s who I tried to be like he treated me like he cared unlike my stepfather who mentally and physically abusive. So to say what Goldsmith means in a young varsity football player who’s lost looking for a father figure its hard to put into words
I let John Combs pick this topic. After looking at a list of over 70 coaches, he said, “write about Coach Goldsmith!” Billy had been in town just a few days earlier and had come by the house for a visit. When Billy is around, my kids hang on every word he says.
The first time I met Billy, I literally bumped into him on our sideline. We were scrimmaging Boyle County in August of 1998 on Boyle’s practice field. I am on the sideline coaching our kids. As I am talking to Carl Overly, I notice I have bumped into someone wearing a great big straw hat! Nice as always, Billy makes a comment to the effect, “ Good job there coach, coaching a little technique .” I didn’t know what to think. Here is this coach, we are PLAYING a week from today (Billy was then the defensive coordinator at Rowan County, the team we were opening up with), and he is standing on our sideline, basically hearing everything we are talking about.
The craziest thing was, he was so dog gone friendly like we had know each other our whole lives. It would be an understatement to say he had made an impression.
As we coached against each other, I really admired and respected Billy as both a person and a coach. He was a great guy and a great coach. Whether it was as a defensive coordinator or the head coach, his teams weRe always well coached and well prepared. He probably doesn’t realize this, but a comment he made to me in 1998 had a big impact on our offense and program. Although Rowan had beat us in 98, we had been able to do some good things offensively. Billy told me some thing to the effect, “If you could ever go no huddle and change formations (“spread” sets and the more conventional I formation sets) it would make you very difficult to defend. “ Billy had a reputation as a very good football coach and I thought a lot about what he said. And, we worked on doing EXACTLY what he had told me. And, he was right it really did make us
much better. Now, it is common for many teams to do that. Whether he realized it at the time or not, Billy had a really good handle on the direction offensive football was headed in the 21 st century.
Along with learning football, I have learned a lot abouT being a dad and coaching your son from Billy.
When Billy was coaching Boone at Lawrence, and then when they moved to Boyle, I was really impressed with how Billy handled it. I am not sure a dad/coach could have navigated that situation any better than Billy did. It is a blessing to coach your son, but there are a lot of tough things that go with it. I have tried to approach things with John Combs similar to the way Billy handled coaching Boone.
When we were putting together our KY All Star Staff for
the 2005 Kentucky/Tennessee game, Billy was the perfect guy to coach our running backs and to get us started each day with stretching and warming up.. That team was loaded with running backs. How would you get all of these stud running backs to accept their position on the team, put the team first and do what we needed to win? Because of his
ability as a coach and his incredible people skills, I knew he would be the guy that could pull it off and he did.. We beat Tennessee 2 touchdowns that night. Our team chemistry was outstanding which was a pretty big accomplishment to achieve with an all star team in one week’s time. Billy was piece of the puzzle #1 in pulling together all the personalities and egos to become one team.
For me, one of the best parts of coaching in Maysville and Mason County has been the connection to Billy and that he was a great Maysville Bulldog football player
. His picture is hanging on our wall in our locker room from his days playing at Morehead State. He came down one Monday night to do a fundraiser for us with his stand up comedy, he is very talented and a natural comedian. I have also enjoyed that Billy is now coaching with my old high school coach, Larry French, at Boyle County HS. Coach French and Billy could not have more different personalities, but they are two outstanding football coaches that love kids.
And, I think Billy really likes being back in the black and gold.
Mercer/Mason Co Coach Dave Buchanan
A dear friend and a great person ! We have been friends for over 30 years and I have learned so much from Coach ! He has been such a great influence not only for me ,and so many young people over his 30 years of teaching and Coaching . The relationships he built with all the young men and all the people at Lawrence County was huge to him !
Coach was such a great teacher of the game of football . He taught the fundamentals and you could see that in all his teams ! He is the greatest motivator and you could tell when his teams took the field they were physical ,ready to roll and he made sure they were that way for the entire game !
As the years past Coach Goldsmith and I got to Coach together at Boyle County High School where his soon Boone was the starting quarterback on the 2009 State Championship team .I enjoyed my years coaching with him and being able to be around his family and him around mine ! It has been a great time and and he is a great friend!
Boyle Co Coach Jeff Hester
I’m not really sure how to put into words what coach Goldsmith meant to me in my life so far. I’m sure its not over either. The work ethic that he helped instill in me is still here. No matter how bad it gets work hard and keeping grinding. Even when the odds are stacked against you keep pushing keeping moving. No shame in not being the best all the time, but quitting is never an option. I would and still will go to the end of the world for him. No questions asked.
Man I don’t even know where to start when it come to talking about the greatest coach in Lawrence Co. History….BILLY GOLDSMITH!! I can close my eyes still to this day and here the ROAR of this man’s voice when he was getting us pumped up before a game especially at half time . How he stood up on the benches in side the locker room and tore our butts if we needed it. He held us up high with praise when we were on top!! He pushed us all to the best of our abilities even were we were wore out he could bring the fire out in us as a team like no other … There are no words to explain HOW MUCH BILLY GOLDSMITH effected my life and all who ever played for this great man. He will live on forever in my life as long as I can draw a breath.
This weekend won’t go as planned. It’s almost poetic justice in a crazy way:This run was like a Shakespearian Tragedy. There was love for the characters. Theatrical drama the way the seasons would play out. A love story between a program and its community that was filled with climax and tragedy. It was a beautiful thing!
-The 1990-91 team taught us you can pout about stuff or you can make history!
-The 1991-92 team taught us you are going to get adversity on the field and in life. While common people fall apart be uncommon and unite even more. If you do the journey will be incredible, you might even make history!
-The 1992-93 team taught us. When all hope looks lost those that are battle tested will do the unthinkable making magical memories of a lifetime!
I’m so grateful for our teammates, coaches, families, peers and community that was on this life changing journey together! It was a United community that brought out the best in each other here in Louisa, KY! BR’s!!
Pete Rose once said “I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball!”
That might be the best analogy I can give you all for the love of each other and our coaches especially our leader…our guy….”we’d all walk through hell in a gasoline suit for Coach Goldsmith and he would for us!”