Late Tuesday afternoon, Local Sports Journal broke the story that veteran Western Michigan Christian boys basketball coach Jim Goorman was being forced to retire by school administrators.
That story lit up the website with comments not only from WMC alumni, but people from throughout the community.
What were people saying about the situation?
Randy Poel, a public safety sergeant in the City of Grand Haven and a graduate of WMC:
“Sad day for WMC…Gip, I will always have nothing but respect for you. I may not have always agreed with your decisions when I was in school (how many 17-18 year olds do!) but you taught me many life lessons that I still use with my boys today.”
Chad Essebaggers, another WMC graduate, wrote that he would cherish his memories of having Goorman (Gip) as his coach:
“I enjoyed having Gip as my coach on 4 different baseball/basketball teams. He is/was a great guy and the school can’t take away the great memories he has created for so many of us. Wish you the best Gip! You always gave us your best.”
Mike Fongers, from Twin Lake, had this to say about Goorman.
“Thanks coach for all you have done in your years at W.M.C.! Congratulations on your accomplishments! You will be missed!!!! W.M.C. will ALWAYS be your home!”
Ryan Weesies from Grand Rapids took aim at WMC administrators:
“As a large supporter of this school I must say this is terrible. What a coward Mr. Doty is to not even take the time to make a comment or talk to the press. He knows this was wrong. Mr. Goorman was a great teacher and coach. This school I was once proud of, I can say to today I hang my head in shame. I would like to ask that when they ask for donations, they please remove me from the list. I hope other large supporters of this school are equally as disgusted as I am. Mr. Doty, maybe you need to check what your values and morals. Maybe it’s you that doesn’t belong.”
Debra Bush Suseland, a 1979 graduate of Western Michigan Christian, also chastised the administration for the poor handling of the situation:
“I am completely disappointed in and embarrassed for the school board and the principal of WMCHS! The manner in which they dismissed a greatly respected and admired man from 44 years of loyal service is deplorable! Jim Goorman is a man of great integrity and did NOT deserve this. What kind of human being thinks this is acceptable? Let alone professionals representing Christian education! I graduated from WMCHS and for the first time in over 30 years, I cannot say I am proud of that! Jim Goorman has more integrity and respect than the principal and school board will EVER have, SHAME on BOTH of you!