A small memorial to Rich Goulet at Pitt Meadows secondary. (Neil Corbett/The News)

A small memorial to Rich Goulet at Pitt Meadows secondary. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Petitioners want Pitt Meadows gym named for late coach Goulet

Online petition gathering thousands of names quickly

A petition to have the gymnasium at Pitt Meadows secondary school renamed in honour of the late Rich Goulet soared past 2,000 supporters in the first two days.

The Pitt Meadows Marauder Air Force Boys Alumni started the petition on change.org, and labelled it “Rename the Pitt Meadows Secondary School Gym for Coach Goulet.”

The announcement of Goulet’s passing on March 28 was met by hundreds of online tributes to the longtime Pitt Meadows coach.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows coaching legend Rich Goulet dies

One of the alumni, Doug Plumb, said Goulet devoted 50 years of his life to basketball, spent nearly 40 of those years at Pitt Meadows secondary, and built one of the most admired and successful high school basketball programs in the country.

“It would be a fitting tribute for a giant who helped shape our community and so many young lives,” said Plumb.

Plumb played for the UBC Thunderbirds, professionally in Europe, and is now the coach of the London Lightning of the National Basketball League of Canada.

“School District 42 has the power to make this happen. We know that singling out one individual for recognition can set a precedent – but few have done more, and expected less, than Coach G,” said Plumb. “We hope that his impact on thousands and thousands of young people over his five decades coaching makes him a deserving candidate for this special recognition.”

On change.org the alumni say: “This petition calls for the gym at PMSS to be renamed for Coach Goulet. We’d probably ask for more, he easily earned it, but he wouldn’t have wanted a grander gesture; he was too humble for that.”

“So, as his former players, fellow coaches and dear friends, we ask that you consider our petition to rename the gym in honour of the greatest coach to ever pace its sidelines, preserving the legacy of excellence, selflessness and dedication synonymous with the name Goulet.”

Shihana Wewala is a Pitt Meadows parent whose two sons and daughter were all part of the basketball program, and her family believes it would be a fitting tribute, considering the work Goulet put into making sure the Marauder’s had a home gym to be proud of.

“We would really like the school to do something for him,” she said.

Wewala worked concessions, helped at the annual team banquets and supported the program in other ways, and saw first-hand how hard Goulet worked.

They worked on fundraisers selling poinsettias, chicken, cookies and more, to fund tournament trips to Hawaii, California and other places.

“He gave them such a great experience… I don’t think any other school does this,” she said. “He was the best coach ever.

“We are very close to Mr. Goulet.”

Those are the kinds of comments that have been echoing since Goulet passed away, after he succumbed to numerous health problems.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge private school hosts hosts spring break basketball camp

The Change.org web page is another place where people have been paying tribute.

“He was the heartbeat of that athletics department for so many decades, and honouring his service and volunteerism to that school by putting his name on the gym only seems like the right thing to do,” said Todd Jordan, the coach of the UNBC men’s basketball team.

“This man built Pitt Meadows basketball from the ground up, and like other gymnasiums across BC, the Pitt Meadows gym should be named after the GOAT (greatest of all time) himself, said Chase Roper.

A burial service will take place on Friday, April 9 at 1 p.m. Covid restrictions mean numbers will be limited, and family will be inviting a small circle of people. They will have a more open celebration of life reception once the public health orders allow for it.

School Board chair Korleen Carreras responded that the board has a policy on naming facilities, and it must be equitable.

“Throughout SD42’s history, there have been countless amazing educators, coaches, and staff members who have each made an impact in their own way, including recent recipients of the Loran Teachers Building Leaders Award, the B.C. Teacher-Librarians Association award and the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, among other recognitions,” said Carreras. “With only a limited number of buildings, properly honouring these contributions through the naming of facilities would be a challenge.

“We aren’t surprised by the tremendous support Rich Goulet continues to have both in basketball and our local community. We recognize the impact he has had on athletes in British Columbia and appreciate the desire to honour his legacy,” she said, adding the board supports establishing a scholarship in his name, and would administer it.


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Boys basketballHigh school sportsMaple RidgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sports broadcaster and 30-year high school football coach Farhan Lalji. (Image via farhanlalji.com)
Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

Lalji, a 30-year high school football coach, thinks the new proposal will be bad for student athletes

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Surrey councillor trying to get policing referendum on the table, again

‘I’m sending it back for clarification,’ mayor decides

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of April 5

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

(Delta Police Department photo)
South Delta crime beat, week of April 5

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Dr. Bonnie Henry says Surrey immunization targeted at neighbourhoods most at risk

‘What we’ve been looking at is the case rates by neighbourhood,’ provincial health officer says

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Most Read