A large crowd gathered in the Hunter Welcome Center Wednesday, as Julie Goodenough officially introduced herself for the first time as the head coach of the women’s basketball team.
“When I found out this position was open, I had about five phone calls and text messages from friends and mentors saying the Abilene Christian job is open, you need to look into it,” Goodenough said.Â “First thing I found on the website was the vision for ACU to be the best Christian university in the country, and I thought, I want to be a part of that. That sounds like exactly what I want to do.”
Jared Mosley, director of athletics at ACU, said that Goodenough was an obvious candidate for the position, having not only extensive experience, but also the drive and motivation that the program is in desperate need of. Mosley identified two main factors that made Goodenough stand out.
“First and foremost you can’t underestimate or undersell the importance of having a vision and having a passion for what you do. In ourÂ conversationsÂ early on in the process it became very loud and clear that Coach Goodenough’s passion and drive for how she intends to impact lives beyond just the x’s and o’s was very important,” Mosley said. “The second thing is her track record. She comes with a great wealth of experience.”
Goodenough expressed to over 100 fans and supporters her intentions as head coach, and how she approaches her coaching not only as a career, but also an opportunity for ministry.
“You can expect me to provide motivation and Godly leadership for my players,” Goodenough said. “I’m going to help my players develop in all areas of their lives, athletically, academically, socially, and spiritually.Â Goodenough mentioned several times that her goal for her team was to become Godly women seeking excellence.
Coach Goodenough also mentioned a surprising mentor here at ACU, former head football coach Jimmie Keeling.
“I know football and women’s basketball are different, but the way you treat people and the way that you coach are the same,” Goodenough said.
Goodenough was the head coach at Hardin-Simmons from 1993-2002 before coaching at Oklahoma State for the following three years. She has spent the last six years as the head coach of Charleston Southern, a NCAA Division I school in South Carolina.
During her time at Hardin-Simmons, Goodenough helped her team transfer from an NAIA to a NCAA Divison III program. She is thrilled to take part in transforming Abilene Christian to a Division I team.
After coaching at Hardin-Simmons, Oklahoma State and Charleston Southern, Goodenough has made the full circle, and is excited about returning “home” to Abilene.
“I’ve been on a really fun journey as a coach and it’s been pretty amazing,” Goodenough said. “Definitely a journey that has been orchestrated by the hand of God. Never would I ever have been able to script the plan that He has for me, and that’s what so awesome about it.”