Arroyo Grande head football coach Tom Goossen retires

Throughout Arroyo Grande head football coach Tom Goossen’s long career, his wife and fellow teacher Teresa Goossen has been in the stands nearly every Friday night to show her support. Now, after announcing his retirement on Friday, Goossen said it’s time for some payback.

“I owe her a couple Friday night dinners, I think,” Goossen said.

Goossen, 61, is stepping down as head coach of Arroyo Grande’s football team after 10 years in charge and 30 years as a member of the coaching staff. In total, Goossen said he has been coaching football for more than four decades.

“It’s been a heck of a run, but everything has to come to an end,” Goossen said. “It’s time to step back a little bit. The timing was right.”

Goossen said it was an emotional scene when he told his team he was retiring following Arroyo Grande’s second-round CIF-Southern Section playoff loss against Valencia.

“What a great group to go out with,” Goossen said of the team that finished 10-2 and captured its second-straight outright league title. “It really has been a great run. I’ve worked with so many great kids and fantastic coaches.”

In the stands for Goossen’s final game in Valencia were former players he coached at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale, one of his first coaching jobs.

“I have really made some great memories,” Goossen said.

Now that he will have some extra free time, Goossen said he plans to “read a lot of books” and do some traveling with his wife, but “nothing too extravagant.” He also plans to have major knee surgery, something he couldn’t do during the year-round football schedule.

Goossen said he plans to continue teaching at the school, as he has since 1990, and will decide if he wants to retire altogether at the end of the school year.

Athletic director Dwight MacDonald, who called Goossen a “wonderful human” and a “great role model for Arroyo Grande High School,” said Friday the vacant head coach job has been posted and has already garnered “quite a bit of interest.”

The next coach will have a lot to live up to.

Goossen was one of the most successful coaches on the Central Coast since he took over in 2007. He finishes his career with a 85-35 record and at least a share of five league titles as head coach. His team’s best finish was in 2011, when the Eagles went 13-1 and captured the CIF-Southern Section title.

“I did not want to end my career faking it,” Goossen said. “I wanted to have the same energy in my last game as I did in my first game. I believe I did that.”