Eddie Goss’ coaching career began the year a man walked on the moon.
It didn’t begin in Chester, but rather in Floyd County in southwestern Virginia. His first victory came against Carroll County High School.
After three years in Floyd, he moved to Gill High, a private school in Richmond. He would make his Central District debut with Colonial Heights, where he stayed for nine seasons before landing at Thomas Dale in 1988, his home for the last 21 seasons.
On Friday night, he obtained a major milestone – his 500th career win.
Just seven seasons ago, coach Goss claimed his 400th victory against then top-ranked Prince George. This time, the Colonial Heights Colonials fell victim to Goss and Dale 78-50.
“Winning is great, the numbers are great, but the success we have as a program is important to me,” said Goss. “Our program is run right, I have a blast. It’s fun to coach this team.”
The Knights got out to a fast start, opening with the game’s first eight points. The Colonials would answer with six of their own before Dale would end the first stanza on a 12-2 run capped by a Donnie Hevener rebound and put back with about a minute to go in the period.
Thomas Dale would build on its lead in the second period, wreaking havoc on the Colonial Heights offense en route to causing 14 first-half turnovers.
Dale put away the Colonials for good with a 15-2 run to start the second half en route to a 28-point victory.
Thomas Dale was led by Andrew White, with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior Malcolm King added eight points and eight rebounds to go along with his three steals and three assists. Sophomore Rodney Williams was a force in the paint, blocking seven shots in the game. It was a balanced offensive attack for the Knights, who also placed Airek Green and Michael Eaton in double figures, with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“Practice was hard this week like it always is,” said King. “We knew tonight was the night we’d be going for 500. Every game he wants us to come out and be focused and to play hard, tonight was like any other game.”
White, a junior who is garnering interest from several major Division I college programs, was just happy to be a part of such an important moment.
“He’s a humble guy. I’m really glad that I could be a part of the team that did it [won his 500th game],” said White. “We’re really proud of Coach.”
Recently, Goss has sent off a number of young men to play at the next level, most notably, Brad Byerson. Thomas Dale’s all-time leader in games played, points, rebounds and the only player to have both 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, is now playing professional basketball in Israel for the Hapoel Natzrath Elite club. He is averaging 22 points and 12 rebounds per contest.
Dale squads led by Goss also made the state quarterfinals two years in a row, in 2001 and 2002.
“The biggest thing to me is all of the kids I’ve coached have gone on to be successful people,” said Goss. “That’s the biggest thrill of them all.”
After such a milestone and this much time past, there’s no end in site for Goss’s coaching career, already 40-years young.
“I really enjoy coaching,” said Goss. “As long as I’m healthy, I can’t even put a timetable on it.”
Goss will be looking to coach the Knights into a deep run into the post season this year, as the team is just a game behind Petersburg for the top spot in the Central District.