The story about Pitt Meadows coach Rich Goulet losing his job after 39 years has gone viral, with even NBA legend Steve Nash weighing in on social media.
Nash tweeted about his opinion with Team B.C. under Goulet:
Lucky I got to play for Coach Goulet! https://t.co/gdi6fCcYs4
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) September 1, 2017
Nash, who was an eight-time NBA all-star and was twice the league MVP while playing with the Phoenix Suns, has more than 2.6 million followers on Twitter.
Another NBA player, former LA Laker and Canadian National Team player Robert Sacre, also weighed in:
There is a problem when 1 of B.C's best highschool coaches gets fired for being a coach. Nothing but love for the Great Goulet.
— Robert Sacre (@Bobby_Sacre) August 31, 2017
Kelly Olynyk of the Miami Heat, originally from Kamloops, had this to say:
Learned a ton from coach Goulet, wouldn't trade the opportunity to have played for him ever, helped me immensely on my path to where I am. https://t.co/si63BIbt6o
— Kelly Olynyk (@KellyOlynyk) September 1, 2017
These players are B.C. high school basketball products who were coached by Goulet with Team B.C.
Goulet described how he was unceremoniously “fired” over negativity after a frustrating campaign last season.
The reaction has been loud in social media.
“This is absolutely reprehensible. I had Mr. Goulet as a teacher and spent many hours with him and his teams on trips for tournaments. He is loud, he can be intimidating but he is always fair. He always expects 100% effort and if you were slacking off you just didn’t play,” said Jaclyn Edwards.
“Seems that too many kids/parents are “sensitive” these days and can’t take criticism that is meant to help you improve.”
“So sad. Such a great coach. He would yell until he lost his voice every game. I took a few camps in Pitt Meadows and everyone was treated the same. He made us work hard. Crazy!” said Chrissy Bynuck.
“We had a contentious relationship, but I respect him,” said Colin Pattullo.
“Going back a long way, but had Goulet coach me at summer camps all the way back to the ‘90s. Coached against him for years. His style of coaching was one of high expectations. He expected a lot – especially from good players – and was not afraid to let you know if you were not meeting them. To have someone who gave this much to the game and affected as many lives as he did be treated like this is disgraceful. Anyone saying that he yelled at some players and this was deserved as a result knows nothing about coaching or basketball,” said Mike Schmidt.
Maureen Muir Goodrich Kizlyk said: “Well, you can’t work forever, but, I am sure there is a better way of making changes. It looks to me like Mr. Goulet had a wonderful career. He is a hero in a lot of peoples eyes. It’s not nice when this happens it is very hurtful. So …focus on the positive, all the good you did, all the kids you helped and know that you are loved by many. You made a difference is a lot of peoples lives. God Bless You.”
A player from last year’s senior AAA team at Pitt also weighed in.
Braeden Fletcher wrote:
”I just graduated and played for this man full time basically 24/7 the past 5 years of my life and camps before that. In grade 8 we started with 28 kids by grade 10 it was down to three. The kids that quit figured it out either they didn’t like playing or they didn’t like Coach Goulet so they stopped playing. They didn’t cry to their mom and dad and get them to complain. What happened was pathetic and those who complained don’t deserve a spot on the team anymore. I’ve had plenty of coaches whether it be soccer, football or basketball, they all yelled and said some things that in all honesty shouldn’t be said but i loved the sports I was playing so I kept my head up and pushed forward. I had my fair share of disagreements with Coach Goulet but I would always move on afterwards usually end with both of us apologizing to each other. The man has a heart.
“I think what bothers me the most about this article is that it features all these past players saying how great he was and how thankful they are for turning them into the men they are today. I’d just like to know … how are they helping to rebuild the program back to what it was? Now I’ve just graduated so I’m still figuring out my life (job, planning school, etc) but as soon as I have all that figured out I’m going right back through those gym doors and putting every bit of effort into that program as I possibly can because without basketball nobody would know where pitt meadows is. If there’s one thing I want to thank Rich Goulet for it’s for never giving up on me and the two other grade 12s from last year. He had chances to just cut us from the program when we went from having a full grade 9 team to having three of us left on the bench going into grade 10. Three years he was given the opportunity to tell us we weren’t on the team, three years he made sure we were on that bench. So for everybody saying how Goulet demeans players and how he’s gotten worse he hasn’t. He’s the same he has been and he shouldn’t have to change. If he would choose to keep three grade 10s around for three years when he could have replaced them you know you’ve got a coach who’s not out there to tear kids down. He’s out there to build men from boys.”
There were also comments from people who said Goulet made demeaning remarks to players on the court, and accusing him of shutting down lacrosse at Pitt Meadows secondary, but the supportive comments are far outweighting the negative in the 75 comments on The News Facebook page.