OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM JIM GOORMAN
“I was blindsided and now will be forced to retire. I have given my entire adult life which is 44 years to WMC and feel privileged to have touched so many young lives. God has blessed me with so many great athletes and team-oriented players.”
By Mike Mattson
Legendary basketball coach Jim Goorman and Western Michigan Christian High School are parting company.
And it’s not Goorman’s choice.
Goorman confirmed Tuesday that he was not asked to return as boys varsity basketball coach after serving the private school for 44 years, including 33 as head coach.
Goorman, who did not sign contracts to coach basketball, became concerned when there were no discussions with school officials about his status. Eventually, Goorman learned he would not be coaching next school year.
“I was blindsided,” the 66-year-old Goorman said. “I asked the question, ‘Am I coaching next year?’ I asked the question and that’s how I was blindsided. I was surprised to hear it.”
WMC principal Doug Doty did not return phone calls Thursday from his office or home. School board president Scott Meyers also opted not to comment, citing personal matters involving employees.
Goorman, who was inducted into the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan last October, is the winningest basketball coach in Muskegon history with 510 victories.
He led the Warriors to five state titles (1992, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010), three state runner-up finishes (1980, 1993, 2000) and one other spot in the state semifinals. His teams won numerous district and regional championships.
“We always expected to win a state championship,” Goorman said. “If you dream high and dream big good things happen.”
Goorman is not bitter as he winds down his association with WMC at this week’s youth basketball camp.
“I have been blessed,” Goorman said. “I’ve been blessed with all of the friends I’ve made and coaches I’ve gone against and respected.
“I’ve been blessed with great athletes. These are the guys who made me look good. I feel good that I’ve been a father figure to many kids at our school over the years. I feel good about kids who come to me about advice.”
Goorman also taught sociology, physical education, health and Bible classes at WMC and served last year as a part-time athletic director.
Overall, Goorman coached 43 years of basketball, 26 years of baseball and two years of softball at WMC.
“I was a lifer,” Goorman said. “I truly love the kids and I truly love competition. I will miss the contact with the kids more than the competition.”
Goorman will continue working as the co-founder of the popular summer American Youth Basketball Tour. He’s not sure what else is in his future, but it likely could entail basketball.
“We as Christians believe everything happens for a reason, so something else will replace this,” said Goorman, who is a graduate of Holland Christian, Calvin College and Western Michigan (masters). “You don’t know how long you will live so you have to make the most of your time and moments while you’re here.
“My family has always been my biggest supporter as a teacher and coach. They have been great. We’ve always been involved with basketball as a family.
“It’s mind boggling to do so much with so many people who played a part in it. It’s a family of players and coaches who made this adventure. So I’ll go from one adventure to another. It’s been a wonderful ride.”
This disgusts me. A veteran of as many seasons as Goorman deserved better treatment. Shame on you, WMC– I hope someone hires Goorman and beats the crap out of WMC next year.
Totally Agree – Goorman was and is an amazing coach, teacher & friend!
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 17-18yr olds do!) but you taught me many life lessons that I still use with my boys today. Go be an assistant coach with your son!
Just saw Jim a couple weeks ago. Great guy, sad to see him forced out after all his years employed at the school. Worst part, the school officials wouldn't even comment on their decision.
This is a shame.
Way to keep a positive attitude Gip! Yes, the Lord works in mysterious ways and he does have a plan. It will be fun to watch His plan come alive in your life in the coming years.
A very sad day indeed. Gip will remembered for generations to come. I am glad my nephew gets to experience basketball camp one last time. Thanks for all you did for WMC and the Warriors
OMG thats horrible
Was that the Christian thing to do? I think not!!
Very sad. everybody loved Gip.
Long live the Gipper!
He's 66 and probably scared to death. I'm so sorry Mr. Goorman, I pray you will find something ( as Randy said , maybe a position with you son ) there are people out there that recognize you still have many great years ahead of you and things to offer kids. It's the kids you leave behind that will also suffer. Best of luck..
Gip deserved better than this. He was always a great ambassador for the school, and one of the best coaches in state history. It's very sad that it was handled this way.
That's why I don't send them money. Not cool.
Agreed. This is horrible. He should have been allowed to go out on his own terms
Gip was one of my favorite teachers of all time. WMC made a big mistake.
Very sad. He has done so much for the school – and the kids.
That's really too bad.
That sucks. I would have been trying to keep him on the team.
I still say "bounce…sight…feel…YES!" in my head when I shoot free throws. This is a classless move on WMC's part. So much for loyalty.
You never know the whole story.
WMC…just as classy as always.
I still use bounce…sight…feel too. I also use make a V, cross your thumb like a T, keep your elbow straight. Thank you GIP for helping so many of us love Basketball.
Don't forget "visualize, believe, finalize" — very useful advice even off the basketball court.
bounce…sight…feel…yes! no YES here. What are you thinking WMC? You just ended a legacy the way no one should. Gip you will be greatly missed. WMC basketball will never be the same.
bounce…sight…feel…yes! no YES here. What are you thinking WMC? You just ended a legacy the way no one should. Gip you will be greatly missed. WMC basketball will never be the same.
I agree. Gip has been a big influence in my life and many others. WMC has not done itself any favors with this decision.
I coached freshman and jv boys basketball at WMC from 1987 to 1997 with Jim and also am a 1967 alumnus. Not only being a personal friend of mine but also as a tremendous basketball mentor I can truly say that Jim was not treated with the respect and appreciation that he is without a doubt due. His commitment to the school and the kids was never in question for as long as I sat next to him on the bench and stood with him and his players at school, on the basketball floor, in the locker room, at the boys basketball clinics he faithfully attended every October and the tremendous amount of time and energy he put in nurturing young boys in the process of becoming young men. He wanted to get his players and coaches to get just a little bit better every day and showed it by his intensity in practice and on the sidelines. How a man like this can be treated the way he is being treated is a sham and a wrong has been done. I am praying for some accountability here and God bless you Jim!
It seems Mr. Doty has wanted Jim out of WMC for awhile now. The greatest ambassador for WMC came in the form of Jim Goorman. He has done more for that school than anyone. Mr. Doty just feels inferior to Jim because he knows how much the kids love "Gip" and Doty will never be able to relate to the kids in that way. Mr. Doty telling Goorman he could coach as long as he wanted must have been a lie then?? Not nice for a Principal to do in the Christian School. Jim is a good friend, and I know he hurts deeply. What a way to end such a great career. Doty needs to go.
What a sad day for future WMC students. As a 1995 graduate, Gip impacted many lives and was a great example of a man of God and that truly had the best interest of students and athletes in mind. The fact that he's being forced out and nothing is being done to honor the man is just plain rotten. Shame on the people that are pushing him out. He deserves much more then that.
Now that it's out, I can finally say how disgusted I am and have been with the Christian school administration and how they handled the whole situation with Jim Goorman. He is a real class act and it shows in the way he has carried himself throughout this entire process. My dad had the privilege of coaching with him for 10 of those years and becoming great friends. This has been a long road and even though it didn't end where we would have liked to have seen it, we are excited to see what path God will lead him down next!
Wow. That's horrible!
That is a load of crap the way they did this!!! He was a great coach and teacher!!! I know I was truely blessed to have him as a teacher and a coach!!! Good luck in all you do Gip!!
He was like the John Wooden of WMC!
That sucks! I loved Mr Goorman.
I was considering sending my son to WMC where I went to school but if this is the kind of way they conduct business in regards to a great man who served that school they can forget about me paying private tuition at that school,what a shame,they just lost alot of money coming from me. I would demand the principle to be let go and REPLACED by Jim Goorman!
I am disgusted by principle Doug Doty's decision to force Jim Goorman to leave WMC. Not only was it the wrong thing to do but it was done the wrong way. He was not just told he was done, but he was slapped and kicked in the process. I don't feel Mr. Doty should keep his job!
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!
Debra Bush Suseland '79
Since the administration apparently has no shame, I will be ashamed for them. I know what I will be saying when I get the next call asking to support the school. "Call me back when you have made things right."
agree 100% Bob! I am disgusted by the cowardis way Doty handled this!
Its so sad. While its not all about basketball, I hope Mr Doty realizes that the basketball program will never be what it was. The school will never be what it was for that matter. Goorman was a great coach but he didnt do it alone. Bob Bush and others played a huge role in all of those State Championship runs, behind the scenes. The new program will never have the support Mr Bush gave that schools sports program. Maybe he will stay on and help the team, but I would dare say he wont. To take hours and hours of personal time just to have a great friend slapped in the face by a gutless administration, well, Im sure that doesnt make Mr Bush and others feel like helping the school out. I cant speak for Bob but as someone who helped Bob from time to time, I know I will no longer be a part of it. So sad, really for all those involved.
Jim was an amazing person and friend. He touched thousands of people's lives.
I don't understand it. The Varsity bball team is going to be solid the next 2 years too.
That is really crazy that they made him retire.
I just can not believe this…….I really can't say anything more than what has already been said……Our prayers are with the Goormans, and pray that they can sense our complete devastation over this situation……No one deserves treatment like this, certainly not the coach that has mentored and led 44 years of students both in sports as well as in acedemics. It is a dark blot on the reputation of "our" WMC, that could affect it's stability and support for many years to come. We as supporters are due some explanation for this crass way of administering…….
It is a sad day for WMC and for a man who has spent most of his adult life doing what he loved to do and what he was called to do. He is a truly gifted coach and teacher and the world needs more people like him!
This is very sad. Very disappointed in WMC.
Hey Holly what happened. Winning state titles every other year not enough.
I'm shocked by this carelessly disrespectful treatment of a man who has given so much to the school. Kudos to Gip for responding with such grace.
Shock yes – surprised no. Gip – you are the man. You deserve better. What a cold move.
You never know the whole story……
Wow….that is too bad….but I must agree that there is definitely 2 sides to every story. But with the long legacy he has at WMCH it seems that the situation could've been handle a little better…..
Yeah I agree it for sure could have. I just feel like it has to be more information thats not being shared because I wouldn't think that they would do such a thing like this in such a classless manner.
I agree that you never know the whole story.. But I can't help but remember that something similar happened to Mr. Bazuin, another great teacher devoted to Christian Education. It makes me wonder about the system now.
(The Truth Shall set you free) – SO THIS MAYBE THE REASON WHY HE CANNOT RETURN AS COACHhttp://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/09/alleged_assault_by_western_mic.html
How do you all think this should have been handled. He was told directly from the school. Blindsided would have been reading about it in the paper or showing up and meeting your successor. Of course I don't know why, but if the reasoning was because of the alleged assault, what does the school owe him? This is different than Bazuin's situation. Goorman admits to using his foot to "get her attention." We must stop turning our heads to abusive actions of adults against children because of their success. The problem is too many coaches and administrators have so much power and influence that they cannot conceptualize being replaced.
This school, board and principal seem to rush to judgement and act unfairly in many situations. I know this from experience!! They act to cover themselves without any proof or evidence. Mostly it depends on how much money you have and how much of that money you donate to WMC.
Typical of WMC. It's too bad. But as Gip said things happen with a purpose God has planned. So, now instead seeing the negative, I hope he can see good stuff and go after it. I hope he feels all his formers students, parents, and the other teachers support that is rallying around him. Hang in there! God is going to do something even more amazing with you!
You were the best gip…thanks for all the lives u have touched
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!
Who is the President of the Board. Why did the board make the mistake of dealing with this the proper way. The Principal is the fall guy. The Board did this. Questions: call a board member. But the principal is not who has this power. He has to take decisions; and then deal with it. This is the way guys do things in all parts of life,. There may be a few women on the Board, but this is the real world. Class of of 1967.
I do believe the board is secondary to the executive committee. And Mr. Doty is the head of the executive committee. Christian Schools Int. changed the hierarchy of how schools operate. So in reality, our school board does not call the shots. And no, I don't believe the executive committee even takes notes for us to see.
Sorry Jason, then no one is doing their job. I think you need a new board and decide how much power you will allow one person to have.. It's a private school. They forgot about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.That's what seems to affect almost everything. Still never a dime from me.
Gip has left a legacy of success. The void left by this erroneous decision will be palpable. The school has been getting a cyclopean discount for the past 44 years. And this is the form of recompense they seek? I'm completely befuddled by route the school has chosen. Gip will certainly foray into his next venture with great success. Unfortunately my concern for the fate of WMC is augmented by the direction the current leaders have chosen.
how long did it take you to write that? haha
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 your values and morals. Maybe its you that doesn't belong.
Very disgusted with the news of Mr Goormans " retirement". He is the reason that school is on the map with class D basketball. The way it was handled is unprofessional and shows very poor class, and he should have been treated better than that.
Long time personal friend of my fathers he was a great man.. If theirs a time for change the ad coulda at least asked him to step aside for new blood.. Idn it's sad he was forced out kinda like Jopa
Luke, yes its a shame…but I would never put him in the same category as Jopa. We probably disagree, but I think Jopa got off easy. Anyways, Goorman was a good guy. That program is done. They lost more than just Goorman.
Very disappointed to hear this. Proud of Gip for his Christian response.
Did he rufflel some administrator's feathers? Couldn't they have "retired" him with much more class? What happened to: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Older workers are being targeted all over the nation. Sad.
Very classy Coach!
Jim is the real deal on and off the court. Blindsided is a gentleman's way of saying that WMC is headed by some REAL cowards and obviously don't know how to properly handle things. that would be Doty & Meyers. Do WMC parents want that kind of leadership.. my suggestion is too release them (Doty and Meyers) immediately. they do not deserve the job and are a bad influence on your kids.. what's next for those clowns.. DON'T COWER OUT PARENTS-MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THESE COWARDS and show YOUR kids that you demand the very best for them and the Coward Team of Doty and Meyers are NOT in their best interest.
I wholeheartedly agree with you Ed!
This is ridiculous! I would not have expected behavior from WMC like this. Yes, times may be tough but there is the right (or should I say Christian) way of doing things!
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.
Forced to retire? Who has the gall to force him to retire? One of finest gentleman and obviously fine coach (the record speaks for itself) in this state and one could probably argue the nation at the high school level. I have seen and heard some unbelievable things of late and this ranks in the top three. Forced to retire? Totally not right.
I find this absolutely ridiculous! Where is the accountability of the Principal and the Board. Don't they answer to the parents and grads who pay the tuition? I have always been proud to have been a graduate (1959) and my children and grandchildren in later years, at least one of whom played basketball. There is such a thing as decency and I find that lacking here. I do remember seeing something in the paper a while back, which sounded contrived, that may have led to this decision, but since it is a private school with private funding, it certainly should have been brought back to the supporters before such a decision was made. NOT good for the present or future of WMCHS. BAD publicity, not showing a Christian spirit!
our thoughts amd Prayers are with the Goormans. May they find comfort in their faith with the Lord and may the Lord Bless and be near them and give them guidance.. They are solid in Grace , family and trust. We also pray for the school board that they will all reach out in prayer and seek the Lord's guidance in what they should do.
Looks like all the big suporters of this school are leaving…..add me to the list and shame on the leaders of WMC!
Not many words to say but knew my family would want to see and hear about our cousins sad day…I still remember going to a game or two with him coaching
My hubby went to that school he wasn't very happy about it.
Every great basketball coach is always forced to retire eventually – i know because i sleep with one of them – 19 yrs. boys basketball at Grandville :)
They can stop asking for my dollars now. Not like I gave before but this is crazy.
Just move your donations to us, man. We'll do right by you
Wow. Nobody wants to mention his ASSAULT CASE. Kicking a Student. The things we ignore.
hey there cousin!!!
the charges on that BOGUS case were dropped. i was in school with the girl who pressed the charges. She was nothing but a troublemaker and bully while i was there. She threatened to beat me up several times before i graduated (she was a year under me), had a horrible attitude, and was a straight up attention pig who will end up in jail in a few years.
Mr. Goorman was an awesome teacher. He didn't deserve this. He has plenty of time left to do what he loves.
Forcing Mr. Goorman to retire does more harm to WMCHS more than it could ever help.
We love you, Gip.
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! I cannot and will not financially support WMCHS until things are made right. The community deserves to hear our voices and Mr. Goorman needs to hear our support. Honestly, how do you people sleep at night after doing what you did to such a great man?
Debra Bush Suseland '79.
You are a good man Jim and a fantastic coach. I would love to see you coaching at calvin soon. They need a coach passionate in recruiting and coaching. Thank you for all you have done for me coach.
Nice job being on top of this story….great job.
Thanks Shawner … only media outlet that actually talked to Goorman.
Why would the media need to do that? They have press releases these days!
Mark Schuiteman · Western Michigan Christian High School.
Hard to understand this decision by the administration. I played for Jim and had him as a teacher. How does a coach and teacher with Jim's resume and history get let go without so much as a thank you? Jim deserved better than this. Some of us may not know all the reasons that go into a decision like this, but letting Jim go without a farewell party and thank you for his years of service and record is plain wrong. Jim will go down in Michigan sports history as one of the best coaches of all time, and yet his own school doesn't even say thanks?
Gipper, your the best! Don't think for a minute that this decision by a few will ever cloud what you have done!
Wow! I played for Gipper and had him as a coach. How does a man who will go down as one of Michigan's greatest high school basketball coaches get treated like this from his own administration? I don't know all the details, but it doesn't really matter. Jim deserved WAY better than this. This administration's decisiion to let one of its all time greatest employee's go without a farewell party and thank you is simply wrong. Gipper……you deserved better, but don't ever worrry about your legacy – it may never be topped for Michigan Highschool sports! The administration, and how they handled it, probably have written thier legacy as well!
GO GIP and GO WMCHS!
Totally shocked to hear this AND the disgustingly, unacceptable way that he found out! After reading Mr. Goorman's own response I shook my head and thought to myself: "What a godly man AND gentleman… what grace!" WMC has undoubtedly lost far more than they will ever know! Certainly, those responsible have lost the respect of countless numbers of people.
I just want to say, be careful what you say about specific people such as Mr. Doty, especially if you don't know the whole story. I personally believe that these decisions were not made cold-heartedly. Anger is not the route to take. Everyone needs to have compassion on these people who have been put in a very difficult situation, and we should celebrate Coach Goorman, whom I love as much as a blood relative. I will be praying for him and for the board, because no one meant to hurt anybody.
You dont get respect unless you give it.
You know doty did it on purpose. He is a weak minded fool who doesn't know whats best for the school.
Thank you Ashley.
Oh hey Scott. How's that executive committee doing? Running other institutions into the ground with those great communication skills? How is your leader Doty? My guess is he's making up things about you right now seeing how you'll be the one who has the guts to face him.
The only reason people don't know the whole story is because doty and meyers are to scared to comment. There is no reason to do this to someone who did so much for the school.
It's amazes me how the devil can tear a Christian community ,like this, apart.. My heart is broken as I see brothers and sisters in Christ rip into each like this..
Rip into each other *
I hear what you are saying, I really do. Was Jim Goorman perfect? No. Did he make mistakes like every human? Yes. However…
I had the pleasure of having Mr. Goorman as a teacher (Bible, PE, Sociology) when I attended WMC over 20 years ago and I could tell that he absolutely LOVED what he did. He was always there for his students and really cared about each one of them.
You say that people don't know the "whole story." Your right, they do not. I will also agree that personal attacks against specific people aren't the way to go. But I stand firm in my conviction that what was done was shameful.
I would encourage you to read the countless comments from people who had their lives shaped and affected for the better by Mr. Goorman over the years, actually, that would be a good idea for the administration too. Once you have done that, please ask yourself one question: When you put in perspective the impressive body of work that Mr. Goorman has put together over a career of service, sacrifice, and dedication, also taking into account any mistakes that were made along the way, is there really a "whole story" here that can justify what was done? I submit that in this case there is not, but, in the end, that's just my opinion.
My mother and father always taught me that making a mistake wasn't the end of the world, you just have to do your best to make it right. That is all I am asking of the administration; please, make it right.
Gip is an amazing, God fearing person. He was my mentor when I was in high school. I was a student in several of his classes and also a teachers aid for him. He never hesitated to help someone in need.
I have to say I am disgusted and saddened by Mr. Doty's actions. Though given how he handled things when I was a student there, I am not surprised. WMC has "Christian" in their name, but how often did they act like it? None at all. Practice what you preach!
I think it.s time the board admits they made a HUGE mistake. The future of WMC depends on it.
To all WMCHS Supporters, if you are upset by the actions of the school board and the current principal, you must remember this is a privately funded and supported school. Perhaps the most effective way to voice our opinion is to withhold support in all ways, which includes attending any WMCHS function and any monetary donations until the school board address their actions to the people they are supposed to represent. What has WMC taught their students regarding loyalty, dedication and hard work, let alone compassion? If the parents of the current student body sit by and do not hold the school board and principal accountable for their actions, what are they teaching their children? If the school board does not address their handling of this issue with the WMC supporters, they are certainly remiss in their duties and their motives will continue to be questioned.The WMC athletic program has been a huge source of pride for all WMC supporters, past and present. The athletic program has been a tremendous asset to the promotion of WMC throughout the State of Michigan. Mr Jim Goorman was an integral part of this for the last 44 years.
I had the privilege of sitting next to a Hall of Fame coach the last four years of his WMC career. I was blessed. What most don't see is his love for the kids. He pushed them hard and loved them just as much. It's unfortunate how the process played out. Thanks Jim for the opportunity to coach by your side!