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 LaxPower.com and InsideLacrosse.com. 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.