Wally Goodwin, the Hall of Fame golf coach who led Stanford to the 1994 NCAA Championship and coached a young Tiger Woods, died Monday at age 94.
Goodwin spent 13 seasons as head men’s coach for the Cardinal, producing not only the program’s first national team championship in 41 years but also a national runner-up showing in 1995, two Pac-10 titles and seven individual All-Americans, including Woods, who played two seasons at Stanford and won 11 times under Goodwin. He was twice the national coach of the year, in 1992 and ’94.
He is survived by his wife of more than 65 years, Nancy, their two sons and four grandchildren.
“Stanford Golf and the world of college athletics lost an icon,” said Conrad Ray, the current Cardinal coach who was a member of that 1994 Stanford squad. “Coach Goodwin had a profound impact on so many young student-athletes over the years, including myself. He was not only a legendary coach, but also a man of character, hard work, and total positivity which carried over to everything he was involved in. Our sincere condolences go out to Nancy Goodwin and the entire Goodwin family.”
Ray is among the Stanford players who competed for Goodwin, a list that also includes Woods, Notah Begay III, Casey Martin and Joel Kribel.
Goodwin’s coaching career spanned more than half a century, and included stints at Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Western Reserve Academy and Hudson High School in Hudson, Ohio; and the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, California, where he was athletic director and coached multiple sports, including golf. Bobby Clampett won a state title in 1977 under Goodwin. Goodwin spent a season as a basketball assistant at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, before taking the head men’s golf coach job at Northwestern, where he coached for six years until getting hired at Stanford in 1987.
He initially retired from coaching in 2000, his last year with Stanford, but was later talked into starting the men’s golf program at Northern Colorado, which he led to national independent title about midway through his four-season tenure.
Upon retiring again, Goodwin and his wife moved to Hailey, Idaho, where Goodwin lived until his death.
Amazingly, Goodwin is reported to have been inducted into 10 different halls of fame, including the Golf Coaches Association of America's Hall of Fame. Stanford's annual college golf tournament, The Goodwin, is named after the legendary coach.
“I had so many great moments,” Goodwin told NCGA Magazine inn 2019. “I honestly don’t feel like I was the reason for our guys having good teams. I never really felt that way. I was just another coach, a lucky guy.”