(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.

(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

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read