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High school football

With memories of Lion glory days, Goff set to tackle coaching job at alma mater

Multi-sport standout when at BAHS, athletic leader ready to share his knowledge of sport
By Mark Haskell | Aug 15, 2019
Courtesy of: Brian Goff Brian Goff.

Belfast — As the son of a coach, Brian Goff has had many advantages to learn the ins and outs on the football field.

“I’ve had a football in my hand as long as I could remember,” he said.

Now Goff, who had his share of athletic success during his glory days at Belfast Area High School, will be able to put all his knowledge to good use as he has been named the school’s varsity football coach for the 2019 season.

The 47-year-old Goff, who was a volunteer assistant coach last year, replaces Gregg Bouchard, who led the Lions to a 2-7 record in his year as coach. Prior to that, Chris Bartlett led the team nine seasons.

Goff transferred to BAHS as a freshman from Messalonskee High School in Oakland and quickly was inserted as the team’s starting quarterback and free safety. He played those positions in Belfast four years and graduated in 1990.

His senior year, he was all-conference at quarterback and All-State at free safety, and was all-conference as point guard of the basketball team and as a utility player on the baseball team.

He also played in the inaugural Maine Shriner’s Lobster Bowl and was one of four most valuable players chosen from that game.

“Thirty years later looking back those were some of the best years of my life,” said the Southwest Harbor resident. “You still talk about it with former teammates and friends and things of that nature. It’s just awesome to come back and be the coach where I once played. It’s pretty much a dream job.”

After high school, Goff received a scholarship to play football at Chowan College — now Chowan University — in Murfreesboro, N.C. Which, at the time, was a two-year school.

After two years of starting as the team’s quarterback, he attempted to walk on at the University of Maine in Orono as a redshirt, but, as fate would have it, returned to Chowan College after the school became a four-year school and started at quarterback as well for his junior and senior seasons.

“I wanted to play,” he said. “I didn’t want to take any chances.”

He also spent time at Methodist College (now Methodist University) in Fayetteville, N.C., but, ultimately, graduated from Chowan College with a degree in physical education. As a graduate assistant, he also spent time as a quarterback coach at Chowan after graduation.

He is not the first Goff to guide the Lions on the gridiron. He was coached in high school by his father, Bob Goff, who previously coached football at Messalonskee and Cheverus of Portland after also coaching high school football in New York.

“The advantages of being the coach’s son is you’re always talking about football and knowing the nuances and countless hours of film watching,” he said. “All sorts of stuff like that. He was hard on me, which was fine, but he wanted me to be the best that I could be and really pushed for that.”

Last season, Goff was a volunteer assistant coach at Belfast and worked with several skill position players.

“It got my foot in the door and a year of me getting to know our players," Goff said. "Knowing what they can do, knowing their strengths, knowing their weaknesses. I definitely built relationships with a lot of the guys and they’re a great group of kids. I think they’re hungry.”

Goff said he is a “big believer” in quarterback Dylan Abbott, while Jack Hansen “is a special player” at wide receiver. He added that the team’s offense — with Isaak Cunningham, Tanner Veilleux and Quentin Roberts, the latter of whom recently transferred from Hampden Academy — along with Chris Kelley at tight end, could make the offense as balanced as it is poised to be dynamic.

“I’m a big believer in you need to build your offense around your strengths,” he said. “We have the potential to make a lot of big plays.”

Goff said he presently has 42 names of student-athletes signed up for tryouts for the first day on Monday, Aug. 19, but “at least 50 is the goal.”

“There’s a lot of kids there that I believe in and they want to have success,” he said. “And I’m going to teach them everything I’ve known in football and hopefully we can have some success together.”

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