BY STEVE KRAH
Greg Goff wants his Purdue University baseball players to play the game well.
But there’s so much more the new head coach has in mind for the young men in his program.
Goff says he believes that “good things happen to good people” and makes that a priority for his squad.
“Having a program that the Boilermaker fan base and people are proud of, that’s really important for me,” says Goff. “I tell our guys all the time, we’ve got to have integrity.
“I want our guys to do things right. I want to be able to look people in the eye because my players are going to class. They’re getting their degrees. They’re being good citizens. We’re making an impact in the community.
“I want to be proud of our players. I want them to be men of service and have an attitude of gratitude. It’s such a privilege (to play college baseball). It goes by so far. This four- or five-year window these guys have can make such huge impact on others.”
Goff asks each Purdue player to contribute at least 10 hours of community service before the end of the fall term. So far, they’ve done things like share a meal with senior citizens and read to elementary students.
“It’s important for people to see our guys,” says Goff. “The more people can see the product that we have, hopefully they’ll come watch in the spring.”
Purdue has a 45-day window of fall training that started about 10 days ago and will run mid-October. By NCAA rule, the Boilers are allowed to train for 20 hours per week.
Three exhibition games are on the fall calendar. The Ontario Blue Jays came to Alexander Field on Sept. 13. There are home contests slated with Heartland Community College (Oct. 5) and Wabash Valley College (Oct. 11).
“The emphasis in the fall is to continue to instill the daily work habits I want,” says Goff. “For the two or three hours we have each day, really focus on that.
“I don’t think you can get better if you don’t really focus in and do those things.”
When the fall concludes, Purdue baseball will shut it down and then go into off-season speed and agility work and be restricted to eight hours of organized training time per week.
“I’ve been really, really pleased with our guys,” says Goff. “They have made such a tremendous commitment to what we’re asking them to do.”
Goff wants his athletes to grow and develop beyond the diamond.
“We want to help our guys understand the importance of making good decisions on a daily basis,” says Goff. “We tell them that when that alarm clock goes off, don’t hit that snooze.
“Let’s get up and make a great day out of it and make a difference in somebody’s life.”
Goff takes over the Boilermakers from Mark Wasikowski.
Waz left West Lafayette after three seasons to become head coach at the University of Oregon. Goff joined Purdue baseball as an assistant coach in July 2017 and was promoted to head coach in June 2019.
“Coach Wasikowski left the program in really good shape,” says Goff. “In all the places I’ve taken over, this is by far the best situation.”
Goff has previously served as a college head coach with stops at Campbell University (2008-14), Louisiana Tech University (2015-16) and the University of Alabama (2017) as well as NCAA Division II University of Montevallo (2004-07).
He was also pitching coach at the University of Kentucky (2000-03) and served as an assistant at Southeast Missouri State University (1998-99) and his alma mater Delta State University (1994-97).
Goff has coached several future professionals, including big league pitchers-to-be Brandon Webb and Joe Blanton at Kentucky.
Goff’s Purdue coaching staff features Cooper Fouts, Chris Marx, Harry Shipley and John Madia.
Growing up in Jackson, Tenn., the son of James and Cora Goff, Greg credits his mother for teaching him much about the game and about life.
“My mom had such great impact on me,” says Goff of his late mother. “She coached me. My dad had to work all the time.
“I learned how strong she was and had to fight for where she was.”
Goff went on to Delta State where he learned from Bill Marchant and Mike Kinnison at Delta State.
More lessons were taught by Mark Hogan at Southeast Missouri State and Keith Madison at Kentucky. Madison is an American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer and Kinnison is to be inducted in January 2020.
“Those guys have had such huge impact on my life,” says Goff. “Hopefully, one day, I can impact players like they did.
“I learned so many life lessons with (Madison). He changed changed the direction of my life. I was so into this baseball. And I love baseball.
“He helped me put it in perspective. Wow, what a mentor he was for me.”
Greg and Tina Goff have four daughters — Kara, Kiley, Kolby and Kenzie. Kara plays softball at LSU.
Greg Goff (right) wants to have the impact on players that many of the mentors during his long baseball path have had on him. Goff was named head baseball coach at Purdue University in June 2019. (Purdue University Photo)
Greg Goff brings enthusiasm to his role as a baseball coach. After two seasons as a Purdue University assistant, he is now the Boilermakers head coach. (Purdue University Photo)
Greg Goff (right) brings plenty of experience to his new role as head baseball coach at Purdue University. He has 14 seasons of head coaching and many more as an assistant to drew from when leading the Boilermakers. (Purdue University Photo)
Greg Goff, now head baseball coach at Purdue University, looks to impact his players both on and off the diamond. He is stressing academics and service as well as athletic achievement. (Purdue University Photo)
Greg Goff will be pointing the way for the Purdue University baseball coach as head coach. He was named to that position in June 2019 after serving two seasons under Mark Wasikowski. (Purdue University Photo)
Greg Goff was named head baseball coach at Purdue University in June 2019. He has been on the Purdue staff since July 2017. He has been a college head coach for 14 seasons and spent several others as an assistant. (Purdue University Photo)