Nick Goshe gets a kick out of Grayslake Central soccer. The success of the school’s girls volleyball, boys track and cross country, baseball, boys and girls basketball and wrestling programs get him equally juiced and make him proud to be a Ram.
He’s more than just a fan, though. He’s also the head football coach.
Well, he was until last Thursday, when he informed his players and Grayslake Central’s administration that he was resigning. Goshe’s passion, attention to detail, organizational skills, fresh ideas and love and knowledge of football were obvious even during his first two years as head coach, when the Rams won all of one game.
So after two straight playoff berths and accomplishments that go beyond wins on the field, it’s no surprise that the 33-year-old’s desire for another challenge has resulted him moving on to what he hopes are “greener” pastures.
He’s trading his green and white colors at Grayslake Central for Fremd’s forest green and gold, having agreed to join Vikings new head coach Lou Sponsel and serve as his offensive line coach.
“It was a two-week, lightning-fast thing,” said Goshe, who cold-called Sponsel. “He needed help with some positions that I’m experienced with. We just started talking and then we met up, and that was pretty much it.”
While Goshe is leaving Grayslake Central’s football program, he’s not leaving the high school that he’s taught at since 2007. He will continue teaching Life Fitness and even plans to continue coaching girls track, a sport which he served as head coach this spring. By his count, he was the varsity’s fifth head coach in as many years as he’s been at the school.
“To be frank, those girls need some consistency,” said Goshe, whose team sent 800-meter runners Kia Gomez and Elsie Rehberg to the Class 2A state meet. “It would be nice to get a couple of other track people involved. I think the girls program could have the success of the guys program, but it’s going to take some time to build it.”
Goshe built a winning and first-class football program at Grayslake Central, stressing discipline and commitment to off-season weight training. He did things the right way, and the community, rightfully, embraced him. Grayslake Central football players became local celebrities.
The bright young coach is also proud that football hasn’t been the only sport that has thrived the last couple of years at 400 North Lake Street.
“Our entire school found success, and that was one of my goals,” said Goshe, an Ohio native, who attended the University of Mount Union and earned a master’s degree from Kent State University. “I didn’t want to have football be successful at the cost of other programs. I’m really happy about that. We were able to find success together.
“I think the track record proves it now,” he added. “When you all work together and share athletes, everyone can be highly successful. If you look at what we’ve done the last one or two years, not just the football program, but everybody has really hit a level of success that our school has never seen before.”
In his second season, for a home game against Johnsburg, the football program purchased pink socks for players at each level and they wore them as a way to promote awareness of breast cancer.
“If we weren’t the first school that started the cancer awareness game, then we were up there in the top three,” Goshe said. “I’m proud of that, too.”
You can salute him for the Rams starting an end-of-game ceremony where they honor veterans.
He’s helped make Grayslake Central football a must-attend event on Friday nights in the fall.
“The program’s in good hands,” Goshe said. “I feel positive with where it’s at right now. The house was kept in good condition. ... Things are kind of running themselves now.”
If it were up to him, Goshe would name offensive coordinator Ben Ault his successor. He recommended Ault to the administration.
“I can’t see why they wouldn’t (name him head coach),” Goshe said. “He’s more than ready.”
Remaining in the building, where he will be the ex-coach who’s coaching somewhere else, will be potentially awkward. But he’s not worried about it.
“I’m sure it will have its moments, but the way we’ve talked to our kids about handling these types of things, the kids will be fine,” Goshe said. “We’ve had great relationships built up with the parents, so I think the parents will be fine.
“You expect a flood of negativity in a decision like this, and there really hasn’t been any. There’s smoke, but there’s no fire.”
For Goshe, only the passion burns.
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