Former Valdosta State football standout Gary Goff has been named the tenth head coach in Blazer football history announced Friday by VSU Athletic Director Herb Reinhard.
“I am very excited to have Coach Gary Goff join our team and I am confident he is going to be a great addition to Blazer football, the university and our community,” Reinhard said. “Gary’s offenses have been among the most prolific in the country and he will certainly continue and build on our history and tradition of fast-paced, explosive football. I’m also excited about the opportunity to bring back to VSU a Blazer alum. During our search process, I had numerous Blazer football alums reach out in support of Coach Goff. In addition to his on-field football success, I am very impressed with what Gary has done with his teams’ off the field, particularly in the area of leadership development.”
Goff comes to VSU from NCAA Division II Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio, where he has been the head coach of the Dragons for the past eight seasons. In 2018, Goff had his best season at Tiffin as he guided the Dragons to a 9-2 campaign and a 6-2 record in the Great Midwest Conference as the team began the season 9-0. Tiffin was ranked as high as No. 15 in the American Football Coaches Association Top 25 in 2018. Goff had 16 Dragons named to G-MAC All-Conference teams in 2018.
In 2016, Goff guided the Dragons to their first winning season since the 2006 season as the team went 8-3 with Goff earning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Coach of the Year honors, the first in program history. He had one of the top offenses in country in 2016 averaging 434.5 yards per game, while his quarterback Antonio Pipkin was a Harlon Hill nominee and was named GLIAC Player of the Year. Pipkin tallied seven Tiffin career records and four GLIAC records, ranking 13thall-time in career total offense, 19thin total offense per game, 27thin career passing yards, and is only the third quarterback at the Division II level to ever accumulate at least 2,000 rushing yards and throw for 10,000 passing yards in a career. That season, Goff also had the program’s first Academic All-American as 74 players finished the 2016 fall semester with a 3.0 grade point average or higher.
Prior to Goff’s arrival in 2011, Tiffin was a combined 2-31 from 2008-2010.
“I am truly honored and blessed to return to VSU and carry on the rich tradition of success that has been established within this football program,” Goff said. “I want to thank Dr. Carvajal and Mr. Reinhard for the opportunity to lead my alma mater. VSU has always been a special place to my wife and I, and we look forward to joining the community. The previous staff did an excellent job with this team, which is full with talent and potential. I am very excited about working with these young men in pursuit of another championship.”
Goff came to Tiffin after a highly successful 2010 season at West Virginia Wesleyan where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. There, he helped guide the team to a massive turnaround as it was 2-8 in 2009 and went 9-2 in 2010, tying for the most wins in school history. The team was ranked nationally for the first time and broke 12 offensive school records.
Prior to West Virginia Wesleyan, Goff coached at Division I Princeton University where he was the pass game coordinator and receivers coach. He also served as co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at New Mexico State for four seasons as he helped lead the team to second nationally in passing offense and total offense. The Aggies broke 21 offensive school records, while ranking 15thnationally in scoring offense. Goff coached the nation’s top receiver, two-time All-America selection Chris Williams, who signed with the Cleveland Browns. Goff, who has served as offensive coordinator for three teams, also was offensive coordinator at Iowa Wesleyan University (2002-03) and coached at Southeastern Louisiana, helping it to lead the nation in total offense. He also had coaching stints at Woodstock (Ga.) High School and Cherokee (Ga.) High School.
Goff played for former Blazer head coach Hal Mumme and former offensive coordinator Mike Leach at Valdosta State and graduated in 1996. During his time in Titletown, Goff helped lead the Blazers to their first Gulf South Conference title in 1996 and the first two NCAA playoff seasons in program history in 1994 and 1996. Goff began as a walk-on for the Blazers in the spring of 1993 after transferring to VSU from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. He then earned a scholarship culminating in being named a team captain in 1996. Goff and the Blazers went 35-13 during his career at VSU under Mumme earning letters in 1995 and 1996. While at VSU, Goff and his teammates helped lay the foundation for where the VSU football program is today.
“I love Valdosta State University and the Valdosta community as much as anywhere I have coached so it means a lot to me that Gary is now the VSU head coach,” Leach said, who currently is the head coach at Washington State University. “He is an incredible coaching talent who truly cares about VSU. It is fantastic to know that the Blazer football program will be led by Gary and I look forward to watching him build on VSU’s incredible tradition of success.”
Goff earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from VSU and holds a master’s degree from Tiffin. Goff is a native of Picayune, Miss., and he and his wife Tiffanie have two children, Tyler and Audrey.