Mike Goad’s 400th win as a high school basketball coach didn’t come easy, but it was a satisfying way to head into the off-season. The Knights won at Giles last week, 62-60, as Goad reached the milestone.
It was the seventh try for number 400 and it proved to be the charm. The game was tied at 60-60 when Isiah Moran hit a layup with about two seconds on the clock. Giles got off a late prayer that went unanswered and Goad had his 400th win. He was presented the game ball as friends and former players and assistants congratulated him in the Pearisburg gymnasium.
“It was an exciting game and my family was there to see it along with a lot of good friends,” said Goad. “There are a lot of memories in 400 wins.”
Of the 400, 267 have been at James River High School in 18 years of coaching. That’s an average of almost 15 wins a year and it includes a state championship. His overall record at River is 267 wins and 180 losses after going 133-110 in 11 years at head coach at Nelson County for a total of 400 wins and 290 losses. Mike is a Lord Botetourt High School graduate and a member of the school Athletic Hall of Fame.
Last week against Giles, Patrick Clevenger led the scoring with 25 points while Ryan Steger had 18. Goad missed out on 401 on Monday when the Knights lost at Floyd, 74-62. Clevenger led again with 26 while Cole Miller and Steger had 11 each.
“It was a closer game than the final score,” said Goad. “We played hard and it was very competitive.”
Goad will end the season with 400 wins, as River finished the year at 5-17. The Three Rivers District does not have a district tournament and the record wasn’t good enough to make the Region 2C tournament, which takes 10 of 14 teams in the region.
River was 12th in the region, but brighter days are ahead. The Knights will lose just one player, Miller, who is a junior but will graduate early. Steger, a freshman, and Clevenger, a sophomore, were the top two scorers. Goad is looking forward to many more wins in the coming years and has no plans to retire at 67.
“I still enjoy this,” he said. “A couple wins here or there and we’d be in the regional, and I really like our future. I’m going to keep doing this as long as it’s fun.”