(THE NEWS/files) For the first time in 39 years, hall of fame basketball coach Rich Goulet will not be behind the bench at Pitt Meadows secondary.

B.C. hall-of-fame basketball coach ‘fired’

Rich Goulet not happy about the way he has been asked to leave.

After 39 years and more than 1,000 wins in high school basketball, including three provincial championships, Pitt Meadows basketball coach Rich Goulet will no longer be beside the bench.

He’s not happy about the way he has been asked to leave, and neither are many of the Marauders’ alumni.

Parents from last year’s team complained to administration, and Goulet has been “fired” from the program he built.

Mike Alain was selected for Goulet’s first Grade 7 all-star team, and was coached by him from 1994 to 2000 – a run that ended in a provincial championship.

“I couldn’t appreciate him more,” said Alain. “My mom has reiterated to me many times that I probably would not have graduated if not for him.”

The headstrong Alain clashed with Goulet, who sometimes yelled until he lost his voice during a game. But Alain never felt Goulet was treating him unfairly.

He said Goulet deserves accolades and to retire on his own terms – not to be forced out of the game.

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” he said. “That high school owes him. How is that gym not named after him?”

Bruce Duthie was coached by Goulet from the age of nine until he graduated – also part of that 1992 team.

“I have a huge degree of respect for him,” he said of Goulet, and would like to see him honoured on his way out.

“He pushed us, he was in our face, he worked our asses off, but it was never to the point of, This isn’t right.’”

But some of the kids on last year’s senior team were not used to it, and Goulet believes that’s part of why he was asked to quit coaching.

“They think I was negative, because I gave a lot of speeches about what they needed to do to get better.”

Goulet outlines a frustrating season, where many of his Grade 12 players were simply not willing to work up to the standards of the program. He said he had to fight with players, and bench them, to get “a basic effort.

“We weren’t even competitive at triple-A … My goodness.” he said. “I never ask anyone to like me when I coach them. I just ask them to do what I want them to do.Maybe I got cranky.”

If he crossed a line, he said some of the players were also disrespectful to him.

His assistant coach, Ron Wallsmith, doesn’t recall any incident that would have led to Goulet losing his status as coach.

“Those things don’t stand out in my mind,” he said.

Goulet said the school board conducted an investigation into parent complaints, and afterward he was asked to return and help run the program – but not on the bench.

“Why would I do that? You just fired me as a coach,” he said.“I’m not here to impose myself to people who don’t want me.”

Neither the school board nor Pitt Meadows secondary principal Mike Keenan would comment, saying personnel matters must remain confidential.

Goulet feels he was not given a fair hearing. He had been retired from teaching for 14 months, coaching as a volunteer, and says the school administration can dismiss a volunteer at a whim.

Walton said coaches around the province have pulled out of Pitt Meadows’ annual Air Show Tournament, and threaten to boycott games against Pitt Meadows. Their schedule could be affected.

Goulet is going to miss it.

“I won’t miss all the work, or going to practice at 7 a.m. in a freezing gym,” he said. “But I love basketball, and I love people who love basketball.”

Goulet’s accomplishments:

Basketball B.C. Hall of Fame inductee;

Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award winner;

• Three-time provincial champion coach;

• Coached approx. 4,000 games at all levels;

• Has been coaching high school basketball in 1965;

• Coached provincial and national teams;

• Founded and administered the Steve Nash Youth Basketball league in Pitt Meadows.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Council announces support for full-time BETHS shelter

The surprise announcement was made on Tuesday night by Mayor Frank Konrad.

Grand Forks Remembers

Photos from the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Grand Forks.

Proportional representation options raised

The workshop was held at the Grand Forks and District Public Library.

Fifty-five years later, a veteran recognized

Ron Ackles is a Canadian Merchant Navy veteran from the Second World War.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read