With this season being the 50th season for LL boys hoops, we take a weekly look at the memorable moments, achievements, coaches, players and more. of the league. So far we’ve caught up with former Warwick coach Dave Althouse and looked back at Cocalico’s 1977 state title team, Columbia’s 1987 state title team and the Annville-Cleona state title team in 1999. There was also this draft examining the origins, highlights and history of LL League basketball.
This week, we’re shining the spotlight on Warren Goodling, LL’s all-time No. 2 coach. However, when Goodling retired as Hempfield boys’ basketball coach in April 2010, his 452 Lancaster-Lebanon League coaching victories were the best in league history. That mark was eventually surpassed by McCaskey’s Steve Powell, who finished with 468 career wins when he retired as Red Tornado boss in 2018.
Either way, Goodling’s teams at Hempfield compiled a 452-205 record and won six Section Championships and five League Championships. His last team Hempfield in 2010 went 29-2 and reached the Class 4A District Three Playoff Finals and the PIAA State Tournament Quarterfinals. Goodling has had just one losing season in 25 at Hempfield.
A 1970 West York graduate, Goodling then played college ball at Lock Haven University, where he averaged 15.2 points per game as a 5-9 senior guard, earning all-conference honors. At Lock Haven, he set program records for free throw percentage (88.6) and consecutive free throws made (27) – it is unclear where those marks stand today.
Goodling became York County’s Northeastern coach in 1976, taking charge of a long-running program that last had a winning season in the 1960s. After four turbulent years at Northeastern, Goodling led the Bobcats to a 17-6 campaign in 1981, when he was named York County Interscholastic Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
He left Northeastern to become an assistant coach at Shippensburg University under his brother Roger. This lasted for two seasons before Goodling was appointed manager of Hempfield in June 1985.
Goodling’s overall career record as a high school head coach is 482-274. He is still active in the game today, playing in recreational leagues and serving as a color commentator for LL boys’ basketball broadcasts for llhoops.com.
In recent weeks, I have met a few people related to Goodling, whether former assistants or players. What follows below is by no means exhaustive of the many people affected by Goodling, but a few brief thoughts on what made him successful.
Ken Gerber may be best known today as the General Manager of the Lancaster County Midget Baseball League, but he was a longtime assistant coach in LL hoops, serving under Goodling and the current skipper of Hempfield Danny Walck until 2014, among other stops. He is now in his eighth season as a freshman coach at Penn Manor: “The number one thing about him (Goodling) is his love of the game and his relationship with the players. He loves the game. He is a total student of the game. He is probably one of the most analytical people around. He watched the video hour after hour, breaking things down. It wasn’t just video of other teams, but video of his own team, trying to do their best. His attention to detail was incredible. The other thing is his interpersonal skills. He uses his staff very well. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve worked with. He was my roommate at Notre Dame when we worked in camps there for over 20 years. … He was a guy who knew where the players came from. He was a sniper. Just a good man. He knows how to manage. »
Jordan Stewart, one of Hempfield’s finest players from the Goodling era, played for the Black Knights from 2004 to 2008 before a stellar career at Lebanon Valley College. Stewart is now Manheim Township’s junior varsity coach: “The only thing we were talking about the other day was the three phases he (Goodling) was going to tackle. If I got frustrated as a player and walked off the pitch, he would ask me, “What phase are you in right now?” The three phases were frustration, intimidation and motivation. He would always ask you. … the other thing is his interpersonal skills. Even now he comes to games and he will have a conversation with 10-15 people before the game starts. … the most important thing that I try to implement from him was the relational aspect with each individual player. He was a great coach to get to know guys on and off the pitch. It means so much more. And then players know it comes from a place of love and respect. …he’s still the best form of anyone I know. It’s crazy. I played in a few recreational leagues with him. I once sat on the bench with Goodling at a recreational league game. He asked me: ‘What did you do today?’ After I answered, he replied, “I swam two miles, took an elevator, biked five miles, and now I’m here to play basketball.”
Larry Bellew, former Hempfield assistant who is now in his 10th season as Penn Manor head coach: “Warren is a basketball maniac. He is still playing. That’s the first thing. #2 was his attention to detail. Everyone was spotted until the end. And then, he had very good players.
Finally, here is Goodling in an interview from early January 2022.
Goodling on his coaching tree: “I had great assistants. All my assistants that I had along the way. Kenny Gerber, Larry Bellew… I trusted them. I wanted them to be my assistants because I had enormous trust in them and gave them ownership of things to help them really get into it. And if they wanted to be a head coach, help them on their way to becoming a head coach. I had excellent assistants. I had great players who cared and great assistants who cared.
Goodling on his ability to keep calm: “You had to do that if you wanted to observe what was happening, you had to control yourself. If you wanted to play confident, you had to model certain things that you wanted your program to be.