Ryan Goddard just wanted to have an impact. Ultimately, that's why he got into coaching. Beyond his family, he understood that his coaches perhaps had the most impact on him when he was a kid. He wanted to repay them and the only way he knew how was to get in the same business and try to have a similar impact on future generations. He's doing just that and he's doing in it one of the state's best high school sports towns. As the head coach at Pueblo South, he knows each week is going to be competitive, but he only welcomes the challenge. This year, the Colts might be poised to make a deep playoff run. They're off to their best start since 2014 and just last Friday beat Pueblo East in the annual Cannon Game. It was the first win over the Eagles in three years. A big rivalry win and a positive outlook on coaching has made Goddard this week's Denver Broncos high school football coach of the week.
Years as head coach: 8 (46-37 overall)
Years at Pueblo South: 8 (46-37)
Previous stops: Pueblo South assistant (2003-09); Pueblo South head coach (2010-present).
Q: Why did you get into coaching?
Goddard: The biggest thing that got me into coaching is that outside of my family, I think my teachers and my coaches had the greatest influence on my life. From there, it's part giving back to those people who gave so much to me. The second part of that is that I want to have some type of impact and maybe impact some kids along the way. Knowing the impact that people had on me, I thought that was the greatest avenue.
Q: Why do you coach the way you coach?
Goddard: I don't know, specifically. I just know that the coaches I had were the greatest mentors to me. I had an opportunity to play with my football coach and then keep in contact with him along the way. Along the lines from my very first football coach to my high school football coach to the guys I coach with today, I think they just kind of mentored me. I think at the end of the day, it's just about us building relationships. That was something that was taught to me a long time ago. It's something that I strive to do. If kids know that you care then you can have a great impact on them.
Q: From your kids' perspectives, what do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Goddard: Hopefully they understand that I truly care about them and our staff cares about them. I think that with the relationships that we build, I think that's one of our strong suits for our staff and myself, I think they have fun. I think they understand that we're trying to make them better people. I hope that's what they get out of practice and games and all our summer workouts. Not only become a better player, but become better people.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories from your time as a coach?
Goddard: There are a lot of memories throughout the years. Obviously 2013, that was a magical year for us going from 1-9 to 11-2 and playing our first semifinal home game in history. Then there are moments like Cole Youngren last year. I don't know if you know the story about Cole, but he was visually impaired and he came out to be a part of our team and he got to long snap for us on a couple of PATs in a few games. Those things stick out. More than the memories, it's the relationships with the kids and those guys. That's when the memories come up when you start talking about things that happened 10 years ago. Those things are special.
Q: After seeing what Pueblo East has been able to do in recent years, how nice was it to come away with a win in the Cannon Game?
Goddard: I think one of the things that people outside of Pueblo don't get about these rivalries is everything that goes into them. The cannon talk around the school, that thing starts very early in the season. I was extremely proud of our kids and the way they handled things during the week and how they stayed focused on the task. They eliminated distractions and just played as hard as they possibly could. With everything that goes into the week, you get to the end of the game and it's kind of a relief regardless of the outcome. But it's always nice to receive what we feel is ours. I was just ecstatic for the kids.
Q: How would you best describe the atmosphere when it comes to high school sports in Pueblo from what you've seen from around the rest of the state?
Goddard: Pueblo is just a special community. It's a big-event type of town. There aren't many high school games, even outside the state of Colorado, where you get 12,000-plus people. We're able to do that at least twice a year. And like I said, the whole week is just so crazy and the fact that we have so many events and so many things to do and so many people involved, the community support is fantastic. It's just something special that makes high school sports really special around here. Pueblo is going to shell out and go support the community.
Story and photo by Dan Mohrmann CHSAANow.com