Breaking: Goldberg Gets Axed


The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Florida lacrosse powerhouse St. Andrew’s has fired their longtime coach, Jeff Goldberg. Under Goldberg’s leadership, the Scots have won 14 of the last 16 Florida State titles.

Rumors are flying as to what the cause of this decision was, but St. Andrew’s has yet to release much information. According to the Palm Beach Post, “an FHSAA spokesperson said there were currently no complaints about compliance lodged against St. Andrew’s lacrosse.” St. Andrew’s is said to have a press release in the works that will hopefully shed more light on the situation.

Inside Lacrosse is also reporting on the issue, stating that “sources say it stemmed from a disagreement between Goldberg and some parents at the school regarding his coaching methods.”

Said one commenter on the Palm Beach Post article:

Perhaps it was a coaching style of winning at all costs, including blatant recruiting both locally and out of state, demanding local “scholarship” athletes to reside on campus so they could practice more, having students that attended the school since they were in kindergarten who played lacrosse for years not get a chance to play because of the recruited players showing up and getting the spots..the list goes on and on. Yes he did build a lacrosse machine and dynasty at St. Andrews but not with home grown talent and not on a level playing field. The program was good for him and got exposre for his athletes, it has not been good for the overall growth and development of the sport in Florida. St. Andrews is a wonderful school, but he was not a good ambassador for the school nor did his methods or philosphy match what the school stood for. I commend them for not letting a coach slide just beacuse they were winning year after year. Somtimes there are more important things than winning.

This type of comment does lead to the assumption that the whole ordeal is indeed a parent issue. But at this point, who knows. Not many outsiders have had a deep look at the St. Andrew’s program over the years, leaving very little knowledge on the table about the way the program has been run.

Said another followup commenter:

I was fortunate enough to listen to Coach Goldberg give kids and parents a speech at one of his camps. To paraphrase in my own words, he pretty much said that if you felt there was an issue with your playing time that you should look at yourself, not blame the coaches. He was dead on. I can’t say I have ever seen an angry parent who was realistic about their child. Most of the time the angry parents think their child is much better then they are. And somehow, coaches get blamed for that.

So, is Florida lacrosse doomed? Of course not. But this is big news and it’s definitely a tough loss for St. Andrew’s. If you have intel on the matter – or just a random conspiracy theory! – drop a line in the comments section and make your voice heard.

And finally, we’ll leave you with this comment:

My son didn’t score high enough on his SAT to get into the college we want him to go to. Can I get the english and math teachers fired for not doing a good enough job in teaching him so he would score higher?



UPDATE: LAS just received a copy of this official announcement from St. Andrew’s School. It paints a very different picture than the previous comments surrounding this news.

SAS Iconic Boys Lax Coach Moves On

Saint Andrew’s School has announced a change in the leadership of its Boys Varsity Lacrosse Program. The School and Head Coach Jeff Goldberg have mutually agreed to move forward separately allowing Coach Goldberg to pursue his interests more fully through his Premier Players Lacrosse Academy, which offers a multitude of services for young athletes and coaches to excel in lacrosse.

“My family and I are proud of what we have accomplished together with the many fine families and administration at Saint Andrew’s School the past 18 years,” stated Goldberg. “We thank Saint Andrew’s School community for the privilege of teaching and coaching outstanding students. I look forward with great enthusiasm to the next chapter of my lacrosse career.”

Saint Andrew’s School is pleased to name former Associate Head Coach RJ Dawson as its new interim Boys Lacrosse Head Coach and will open a national search for the 2011-2012 lacrosse program.

“I’m looking forward to leading the Scots this year,” stated Dawson. “I know that I have big shoes to fill. As a team, we will continue to strive for excellence. Our goals continue to be the same; win a state title and be recognized nationally as a top program. We will work to sustain the legacy created by Coach Goldberg.”

Athletic Director David Ahern agrees and is impressed.

“We welcome RJ Dawson with open arms to the Interim Head Boys Lacrosse Coach position,” stated Ahern. “He is a committed educator in Broward County and an outstanding gentleman who we think will continue the tradition of lacrosse excellence that Goldberg and his predecessors have helped to foster at our School.”

Meanwhile, Dawson has already personally reached out to many of the lacrosse players on campus and is looking forward to the spring Varsity Lacrosse season. He is also committed to Saint Andrew’s School’s rigorous game schedule and ongoing competition with nationally ranked high school teams. Being under the expert tutelage of Goldberg for the last two years has truly helped him prepare for this moment.

Dawson is a high school graduate of Northampton High School (MA) class of 1997, where he was a two time All-Western Massachusetts midfielder. Dawson attended Alfred University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in literacy education. He was named team captain, Offensive MVP, and received All Empire Eight honors while being a four year starter for the Saxons. Upon graduation, Dawson coached at Northampton (MA) for two years and served as the head coach for the western/central Massachusetts Bay State Games teams in 2001-2002. Prior to coming to Saint Andrew’s, Dawson coached four years at Pine Crest in Ft. Lauderdale. In 2008, he received the Boys Varsity Assistant Coach of the Year Award as recognized by the South Florida Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse. Dawson has also coached for the South Florida Select Lacrosse program and is the Assistant Director for the Face Off Club Lacrosse Camps and the Southern Combat Lacrosse Showcase. In 2010, he was named the Assistant Coach of the Year by the South Florida Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse.

Goldberg leaves Saint Andrew’s following a period of unprecedented success for the lacrosse program. The Saint Andrew’s School lacrosse program has ranked in the top 20 national teams for the last 3 years and earned recognition as the number one lacrosse program in the Southeast by and He has helped Saint Andrew’s develop an alumni collegiate network at some of the nation’s finest universities, including Yale, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Dartmouth, Virginia, and Notre Dame. Overall, the Saint Andrew’s School community is grateful to Goldberg and will always honor the legacy left by his work.

“Coach Goldberg’s departure from Saint Andrew’s School is a significant loss,” said Ahern. “Over the course of the last 18 years he led the program to numerous club and state titles and has built the team to a national standard, doing so with an emphasis on sportsmanship. However, even more importantly, Goldberg’s teams not only had significant success on the field, but his players also achieved outstanding success in the classroom.”

Dr. Ann Marie Krejcarek, School Headmaster, also recognizes Coach Goldberg’s renowned accomplishments.

“I extend my own deep appreciation to Jeff Goldberg for building a successful club program and then moving that club program into the realm of a recognized FHSAA High School state team,” stated Krejcarek. “I also must note the generous support of our athletic department, the Booster Club, and the parents who have all been a part of this program’s success. It has been a team effort, but we have been fortunate to have a legendary coach at the helm of our lacrosse program in Coach Goldberg. We wish Jeff the best of luck and success in his professional lacrosse endeavors.”

Happily, the Goldberg family will still be part of the Saint Andrew’s community with his wife Jennifer continuing to teach in the Lower School and his son Kade being a member of the class of 2020.

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  1. Look, I attended St. Andrews for 4 years, and played lacrosse for them for 3. I want to clarify some things with the first quote. Goldberg never recruited anyone. There is only one person that could be considered a recruit, but he is also Goldberg's nephew, so you could understand why he would want to attend the school he coaches at. For the people that start calling out names of players who were recruited, tell me this, who wouldn't given the opportunity to come to St. Andrews to play lacrosse. I mean really, you saw the stats, SA has won 14 out of the last 16 years. So that should put to rest any recruiting violations. As for not having any homegrown talent, you have got to be kidding me. 95% of the roster is homegrown talent. I could name the roster from '05 to '08 and I guarantee over 90% of the team grew-up in the area. And for the others, SA is a boarding school, so you can't fault them for having a few out of state players here and there. As for players that started in kindergarden, well thats a fallacy, because the class of '09 was the first class to play lacrosse from when the middle school program started and they didn't start until 4th grade, so if your going to attack the feeder system, get your information correct. Now for not helping the sport of Lacrosse in Florida, that is absolute bullshit. Goldberg ran almost every single summer program in the state. He has a hand in many of the programs that operate as a club team, including Team Florida. And when you say not good for the sport, and you mean School teams, once again you are wrong. Since Goldberg has a hand in many of the club teams, he helps give exposure to other players throughout the state. Not to mention the fact that teams have to compete with SA on an annual basis. This helps every other team become better. SA raises the level of play for the whole state. And every year we see a team step up and compete, like Lake Highland Prep this past year. I hate when people attack the program at SA and its former coach Jeff Goldberg. I have played at a D2 and club level college school and have not found a coach that is more knowledgeable than Goldberg. This quote should sum up the program in its entirety, ‎”for the hand full of players that did not like him, there were THOUSANDS that loved him.”

    • thanks for this comment. I have a feeling this is where the battle lines are going to be drawn (if there is a battle at all). I am also very interested in reading the School's press release when it comes out to see how the issue is being portrayed by people directly involved. I have a feeling this isn't the last of this story.

      • looks like the school and Goldberg are taking the ever-classy “mutually agreed to part ways” route. I think this will benefit both parties more than any other route and while the rumors will still fly, this story may simmer down rather quickly.

    • As another player under coach G it is insane that this action could have been fathomed. He was the best coach in the state hands down and he hand his hands on every single organization with a title of lacrosse in this state. His success was constantly attempted to be replicated and every school would watch St. Andrews and take something to their team because everything that was taught and done worked. Lax35 is right, 95% of the roster is homegrown and how can you say he recruited when anyone with a brain would know that if you wanted to be seen in Florida and go to college to play lacrosse the best possible way would be to come down and play for Goldberg. What is he supposed to do, say sorry and send the kid off if he showed up on his doorstep and can play? He is such a big figure that unless something happens quick, Florida Lacrosse is over, just will slowly decline until it is no more. Its really sad because the state is peaking in terms of the talent playing big time ball out there. Coach G has more influence than is seen just as a coach; he is the reason why college coaches come down to look at Florida kids, his contacts are why kids are being seen and by taking away this source, its like taking scholarships out of future players hands.
      Yes he may be seen as intense but all he does is tell the TRUTH. If you messed up he will let you know, if you need to step up and lead your team he will get you motivated, you listen and take everything he says with a grain of salt because although is sounds rash at that moment if you break it down it is what will make you better. A true Champion and a great Father, not just to his family but to all of us players, may the truth set him free. Hands down the best and hardest working at what he does. Bring him back SA you are making a huge mistake.

    • Thousands liked him for what he said and what they thought he said. Goldberg was a FAKE. It was never about the kids or lacrosse, it was and always be about Jeff Goldberg. I never played for him, but I have good friends that coached with him, and I can tell you this………..I would not trust that guy for anything. Whats good for Goldberg was always the deciding factor in his decisions. And the final straw was Goldberg throwing players under the bus to college coaches; just ask the goalie from last year. Ohio State took their offer right off the table after Goldberg “Mother Whack” reached out unsolicited and slammed his own player; a 16 yr old kid just looking to get a good education and play lacrosse at a fine institution. He may post W’s in the win column of lacrosse, but those who know his motives and intentions no he tallies nothing but L’s in class and integrity.

      • You have said it all!! Goldberg has always been a fake. He is probably one of the most arrogant, self centered people I know. I was a former lax coach on Long Island. He left LI because he could NEVER make it here. He decided to go to Florida where his reputation wasn’t tarnished……………….yet. Well, guess that caught up to him too!! He is also a liar and a cheat. He claims he played ball in college—really—then where is his degree. He never finished college. These parents should only know his REAL credentials!!! Don’t feel sorry for him people, he deserved EVERYTHING he got. I applaud the administrators at St. Andrews for finally seeing through his BS!!!

        • First goldberg was not a fake he led those kid to success not only on the field but in the class rooms also he did play ball in college look at the paper and the only reason this whole situation happend is because some spoiled brat did not get what he wanted and now look were st andrews is today not as far as they were with jeff.

      • First it was about the kids if it wasn’t he wouldn’t take days to practice with them or spend time with them Goldberg grew a strong bond with all of those kids and another thing is that u cant get mad at someone who tells the truth about their player and know one knows what he said about the player only him and the ohio state person who talked to Goldberg

  2. I have a lot of respect for RJ Dawson and personally believe the program is in great hands. Obviously the word is that they will be conducting a national search, but in my opinion they have the coach they need already. I've had the privilege of watching RJ work with many youth players and he does a phenomenal job.

    Also glad to see the coach and school take the classy road to the separation.

    Here's to continued success for the St. Andrews program and best of luck to Coach Dawson.

  3. There are many rumors regarding the dismissal. The unforutnate truth is kids who went there were well aware of Coach G's style prior to their ever stepping on campus. Coach also has never compromised his opinions of where a particular player may fit with a particular program and he has almost always been dead on accurate. This time there were some parents who could not accept that their son was not good enough to play at a particular school so they muckraked until they could threaten a school with unwanted publicity and they were successful. Today's parents think that if they attend a certain program, ie St Andrews, that they are entitled to an automatic high level collegiate position. In this case, Coach G's opinion was right on the mark. One player has been mentioned numerous times and he has always been a project; high maintenance, disciplinary issues, and worst of all, parents who choose not to take any responsibility for their own childs irresponsible, reckless, and selfish behavior. Shame on all those who could never make it on their own anyway and chose to live their athletic dreams precariously through their own child and when it didn't happen their way they fought back while hiding behind an attorney. What a pity for these parents as they continue to provide fales security for their own child