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SHERIDAN — On March 27, Stanford University changed the name of their golf tournament name to “The Goodwin” in honor of Wally Goodwin a former golf coach, former Story resident and the recruit for one of Sheridan’s best-known golfers — Jim Benepe.
“It was such a great honor for me,” Goodwin said Tuesday. “Not many coaches have a title named after them, so for the university to want to honor me this way, is just a great honor.”
At the banquet, all of Goodwin’s first year players were there, and a few others from throughout the years also attended. His family was there and he said it was like a big family reunion.
“This was a lifetime memory for me,” Goodwin said. “I was a coach who never worried about the scores. After the game was over I didn’t look back on scores.”
The Goodwin tournament is a three-day, 54-hole event. Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, won The Goodwin this year with a 14-under 196, and his final round was a 64. The tournament was held last weekend.
Goodwin coached at Stanford from 1987-2000. During his time there he led his team a national title in 1994. The team tied the NCAA record for fewest strokes in the championship event. This was the program’s first championship since 1953.
Goodwin was also named the National Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1994. Both times he was honored as Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year. Goodwin recruited and coached some of the household PGA names such as Tiger Woods, Casey Martin, Notah Begay, Conrad Ray and Joel Kribel.
In 1995 Stanford finished second after they lost to Oklahoma State. The team was famous. Goodwin noted that everywhere the team went, people would come from all over to get their autographs.
“Airports were the worst, because people of all ages were stopping them to get autographs,” Goodwin said.
In 1996, Woods won the individual championship. Overall, Goodwin led the Cardinals to 21 tournament wins, 10 runner-up finishes, three Pac-10 individual champions and 17 All-Academic selections.
Prior to Stanford, Goodwin played the PGA tour in 1959. After the tour he began coaching high school basketball in Colorado. He also was an athletic director at Rober Louis Stevenson School in California and then became an assistant basketball coach at Stetson University in Florida. While the assistant coach he received the chance to coach against the famous Larry Bird.
In 1981 he received a call from a good friend to see if he would come start the golf program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Goodwin recalled that while at Northwestern he recruited his first “important” player — Benepe.
“This was my first important recruit,” Goodwin said. “He became an All-American in 1986 and then became a future PGA Rookie of the Year.”
After Goodwin retired from Stanford he moved back to a ranch in Story for a couple of years. He then decided to serve as the head coach for Northern Colorado from 2003–2007.
Goodwin is retired now and lives in Hailey Idaho, where he enjoys watching golf tournaments and basketball on TV with his wife, Nancy.
“I’ve been coaching for a million years now, and it’s time to retire,” Wally said.
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