Josh Gooch is new ECC head football coach
Ellsworth Community College has hired Josh Gooch as its new Panther head football coach. He accepted the position on Monday afternoon and has already arrived in Iowa Falls to begin his duties this week.
Most recently the associate head coach at Hutchinson Community College (Kansas), Gooch has extensive experience in the community college system. While at HCC, he was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, helping the Blue Dragons to three straight wins at the Salt City Bowl and a fifth place ranking in the final NJCAA national poll. Prior to that, he coached at Fort Scott Community College, Coffeyville Community College, Fort Hays State University and the University of Wyoming. His first full-time job out of graduate school was a one-year stint as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for Ellsworth Community College (1999).
A native of Kansas, Coach Gooch holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Fort Hays State University and a master’s degree in Health/PE/Recreation with an emphasis in administration. While at Fort Hays he was a heavyweight wrestler and played football as an inside linebacker.
“I can’t tell you how eager I was when I heard the head coaching position at Ellsworth was open,” says Coach Gooch. “I’ve been with HCC Head Coach Rion Rhoades for eight years, and I consider him one of my best friends. At HCC we were one of only two community colleges in the country to win three bowl games in a row. We also had a 96% placement rate for our sophomore players, meaning they either graduated or transferred successfully, and that’s something we were very proud of. It’s a success that I’d like to continue at Ellsworth.”
Coach Gooch continued, “I have deep roots in the junior college circuit, and I understand the recipe for success at this level. Over the course of eight years, Coach Rhoades and I turned around two football programs that wanted to be good. I’m very excited to be in Iowa Falls now, and to do the same work here. The college staff had an open arms attitude during the interview, so I feel the transition will be very smooth.”
Gooch was one of three finalists interviewed for the head football coaching position at Ellsworth, and ECC Athletic Director Paul Eberhardt said it was his community college experience that drew the committee’s attention.
We are very excited to have Coach Gooch join our team here at Ellsworth Community College,” says Eberhardt. “He brings a wealth of NJCAA football experience at a high level and is well prepared to lead our program. He has a magnetic personality that will excite and energize our players and fans. We look forward to continuing the long tradition of Ellsworth football success with his leadership.”
Coach Gooch said his father helped him move to Iowa Falls and is working with him get things inventoried and organized in the football offices pending the hiring of assistant coaches. Gooch’s wife, Kandy, and daughters, Aubrey Jordan (AJ), 3, and Avery, 1, will be joining him in Iowa Falls soon.