NOTE: This is the fourth installment in a series introducing the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Look for long-time Carver-Birmingham basketball coach Steve Jefferson’s profile Friday. Tickets for the 25th AHSAA HOF Banquet set for March 23 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center are still available to the public by calling 334-263-6994 by March 16. Tickets will not be sold at the door and mail order ticket deadline has passed.
By BILL PLOTT
A native of Talladega, Dewey Douglas “Doug” Goodwin graduated from Sylacauga High School in 1980. At Sylacauga he played football for four years at defensive back, running back and linebacker. He also pitched and caught on the baseball team and played in the state East-West All-Star Game.
The AHSAA Hall of Fame inductee in the Class of 2015 attended Auburn University, graduating in 1984. At Auburn he was an invited walk-on at defensive back under head coaches Doug Barfield and Pat Dye.
Goodwin, 234-91 over his 27-year head football coaching career, got his early coaching experience at his high school alma mater, serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the junior varsity and then was a volunteer at Beulah High School.
His professional teaching and coaching career began in1985 at Lanett High School as assistant varsity football coach. He was also in charge of the weight program and coached the 9th grade basketball team.
In 1987 he moved to Marion County High School in Guin as athletic director, head football and baseball coach. He taught physical education and health and was in charge of the weight program. His first few football teams at Guin were not outstanding but they were highly competitive, In 1991 he carried the Red Raiders to the state playoffs, the first of many trips over the course of his career.
In 1993 he moved to Lineville with multiple responsibilities as athletic director, football coach, girls’ basketball and baseball coach as well as teaching physical education classes for six grades. Over the next seven years he compiled a record of 59-17, a 78 per cent winning record. Seven straight Lineville teams made the state playoffs, two of them advancing to the championship game. The 13-2 record of the 1996 team set a school record for wins. Two years later that record was broken by the 1998 squad’s 14-1 mark and a tough loss to Southern Choctaw in the Class 2A championship game.
Coach Goodwin moved to Demopolis in 1999 as athletic director and head football coach. The building blocks of success he had established at Lineville followed him. In eight years at Demopolis his record was 92-18, an impressive .836 winning percentage. He had four consecutive undefeated regular seasons from 2002-05. Two of those teams played into the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. The 2004 squad won the state championship with a perfect 15-0 record. It was the school’s first football championship. The Tigers scored a state record 761 points that season. All eight of Goodwin’s Demopolis teams made the playoffs.
In 2007 he moved to Russellville where he spent four years as athletic director and head football coach. His percentage of wins continued to rise. His four straight playoff teams compiled a record of 46-9. Two of those teams made it to the championship game. When he left for Homewood after the 2010 season, he had a string of 18 consecutive state playoff appearances and 11 double-digit winning seasons at Lineville, Demopolis and Russellville.
As head football coach at Homewood he compiled a 23-10 record, taking his last two teams to the playoffs. That gave him 21 playoff teams in 27 years of coaching. He retired from coaching after the 2013 season at Homewood and joined the athletic staff at Auburn University as Director of High School Relations and NFL Liaison.
Ronald J. Roberts, principal at Pascagoula, MS High School, worked with Goodwin as principal at Demopolis from 2000-05. In a letter of support he recalled those years:
“In my 38 years in the field of education, I have served with hundreds of great educators at all levels in the states of Alabama and Mississippi. Coach Doug Goodwin, in my opinion, is the very best. I marveled at the results consistently achieved by Coach Goodwin in building a championship football program for Demopolis High School.
“Coach Goodwin possesses a great work ethic, great initiative, and a personality that makes everyone around him want to do their very best. His accomplishments elevated him to legendary status in the Demopolis community. Our football program was a source of great pride for the Marengo County area.
“On a personal, my son Colby was a senior wide receiver on the 2004 championship team. He had a great experience playing for Coach Goodwin and holds him in very high regard. Colby told me that he learned more than football from Coach Goodwin. He learned to work as part of a high energy team for a common cause. This still serves my son well. I could never repay Coach Goodwin for what he meant to my son.
“Coach Goodwin was a great leader and had a wonderful rapport with our students, faculty and staff. His wife Donna, a great math teacher, was the unofficial mother to our football team and helped ‘raise’ our players. Dr. Wesley Hill, longtime superintendent of the Demopolis City School System, once told me that Coach Goodwin had the rare ability to connect with all of his players. He told me that Doug was probably his top hire of all time. I fully agree with Dr. Hill.”
Goodwin has received numerous football coach-of-the-year awards at the county, regional and state level. He has coached in the AHSAA All-Star game as well as the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.
He was selected Northwest Alabama baseball coach of the year twice.