After 56 years, Bob Gooch's legacy at Mexico HS continues to grow

4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago October 02, 2016 Oct 2, 2016 Sunday, October 02 2016 Sunday, October 02, 2016 12:26:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Sports

MEXICO – When he arrived in Mexico, Missouri in the Fall of 1960, a first football coaching job was supposed to lead Bob Gooch elsewhere eventually. That never quite happened.

Gooch played offensive line and linebacker at the University of Missouri under legendary coach Don Faurot from 1952-55 and said Faurot was a huge influence in his life. 

“I played for a legendary coach in Don Faurot, who the field at the university is named after, and he was like a second father to me. He always took care of his players,” Gooch said.

Following his graduation from the university in 1957, he was drafted into the military and served two years, mostly domestically. After leaving, he knew he wanted to leave his mark on kids, the way Faurot had left a mark on him. 

Eventually, that led him to Mexico, where he was hired on the football coaching staff. From the very outset, he aimed to impact kids the way Faurot impacted him.

“It was just natural, I tried to treat the kids like my own and how I’d like them to be coached. That was Coach Faurot’s philosophy,” Gooch said.

He has touched the lives of countless kids over the years, especially one he coached toward the beginning of his tenure. Ron Azdell played football, ran track, and wrestled under the tutelage of Gooch from 1963 to 1966.

“His whole life has been teaching kids more than just how to play a game. It’s how to live and what life is all about. That’s what athletics, I think, does for people,” Azdell said.

People took notice of the effectiveness he had in coaching the kids at Mexico High School, which helped earn him a promotion to the school’s athletic director by 1975. While serving in that post, he got to further expand his reach to kids of all sports, not just the ones he coached.

“Even as athletic director, I would just try to say ‘hi’ to all the kids and work with them when I could and still do those types of things,” Gooch said.

By 1988, Gooch was ready to explore other areas of life. He retired. But he didn’t retire from supporting the Bulldogs in everything he did. In the nearly 30 years since his retirement, he still tries to go to every Mexico sporting event he can. 

“Well, I don’t miss too many. I try to get to a little bit of everything,” Gooch said.

It is that dedication that has helped make him an icon in the community. It also got the gym in the school named after him. While he’s proud of the plaque outside the gym, he hopes his lasting legacy goes far beyond that. 

“I would hope I’d be remembered for respecting the kids, knowing the kids, working with the kids. I’m just happy to be in Mexico,” Gooch said.

From the very start, that legacy was being established through his first players.

“I’ve known him for 53 years and Bob Gooch will always be ‘Coach Gooch’ to me,” Azdell said.

He certainly isn’t alone in only ever knowing Bob Gooch, the man who arrived in Mexico 56 years ago, as “Coach”.

More News

Grid
List
MOBERLY - A non-profit held an open house Friday for people to learn about a program that helps disabled people... More >>
41 minutes ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – When Deronne Wilson arrived at the First State Community Bank, he was expecting a job evaluation. Instead, friends... More >>
1 hour ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City residents will vote in August on whether to raise the city's minimum wage... More >>
3 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Chrystal Sadler never imagined she'd be where she is today. "My mom told me at 15 I'd... More >>
4 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 4:08:08 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools Board of Education is accelerating the process to build the first new middle school in... More >>
4 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 3:23:00 PM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Up to 140 J.C. Penney stores across the country will close, the chain announced Friday. The... More >>
5 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — For the third time since 2009, a St. Louis family is dealing with the loss of... More >>
5 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 2:51:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Federal investigators have ruled that the fire that destroyed a suburban St. Louis country club... More >>
5 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 2:40:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri has approved more than $54,000 for remodeling the Capitol office of new Lt. Gov. Mike... More >>
7 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 1:17:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Tax-filing season is in full swing and some want to take advantage of it. The Internal Revenue Service... More >>
8 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 12:04:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed two former Missouri senators and the new Department of Revenue director... More >>
8 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 11:46:08 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A streetcar that will operate in the Loop area of St. Louis and adjoining University City... More >>
12 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 7:49:51 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - When someone overdoses on heroin or another opioid, the drug slows down their central nervous system until they... More >>
14 hours ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 6:02:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A Moberly woman was charged Tuesday in Boone County for abusing a 12-year-old Columbia boy. Stacey Robertson,... More >>
21 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:23:00 PM CST in News
MONITEAU COUNTY – The Moniteau County Sheriff's Office arrested 10 people during a drug bust Wednesday. The sheriff's office... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 8:19:00 PM CST in News
WENTZVILLE (AP) — Police in the east ern Missouri to wn of Wentzville are investigating after a woman working inside... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:23:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Plato’s Closet opened a newly renovated store Thursday to give mid-Missouri teens and young adults affordable, high quality... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:53:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Eric Greitens plans to put $11 million back into school transportation and $41 million back into home... More >>
1 day ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:44:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
9pm 35°
10pm 33°
11pm 32°
12am 32°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Emerald City
9:00p
Dateline NBC
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Grimm
8:00p
Emerald City
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld