Pat Gould has left a 17-year legacy as the head football coach at Linesville and then Conneaut when the Linesville and Conneaut Lake merged along with Conneaut Valley in 2012.
Gould recently stepped down as head coach at CASH, but he won’t be far away. It was just the right time.
“I’ve been coaching for quite a while,” Gould said. “I started coaching right out of college in 1990. My kids chose not to play. I have a son who’s a senior and a son in ninth grade. Both are focused on wrestling. I knew at the beginning of the season, in my mind I kind of made up (I was going to step down). It’s just time to go. I still enjoy it, there’s just so much to do. I want to see my kids get through high school and go from there. I really enjoy watching my boys. I’m looking forward to that.”
Gould’s programs, first at Linesville, followed by his tenure at CASH, have been defined by toughness.
His record says 105-62, including the nine seasons at Conneaut. Those nine years include a 60-34 record with no losing seasons.
But much more than that, opponents knew exactly what they were getting when they stepped on the field against a Gould-coached team.
“I coached baseball, at one-time baseball and football at Linesville,” Gould said. “Our kids were tough as nails in baseball. We preach it all summer, we preach it in the weight room. They just believe in each other and that’s what we developed.”
That toughness helped guide the program through the transition period with the merger back in 2012.
What also helped is that Gould and his staff had a consistent plan in place, one that they were able to carry over with the merger of the three programs.
“The approach was taken that I think we had a successful program at Linesville at the time,” noted Gould. “When they announced they were going to appoint me as head coach, we had a routine of what we were doing. We accepted the kids from the other schools. We made it a point to go see them. We made it a point to make everyone equal and on the same page.”
And it showed.
Just two short years later, Conneaut stunned Cathedral Prep for the District 10 Class 3A title.
That is a moment that certainly stands tall among a whole host of accomplishments for the Eagles.
“That was a great moment,” Gould said. “We thought we had them the second year (2013). It’s certainly a highlight for the football program. We did some things, some really, really good things. We beat General McLane the year before and no one gave us a chance to beat them. We had a lot of big wins. Also, those games in DuBois, back when DuBois had Gabe French and those huge offensive lines, those stick out as well.”
And Gould will miss those moments, for sure, but not as much as he will miss some other things.
“I’ll miss the kids,” he said simply. “Seeing the progression from freshman to seniors. Seeing how they evolve into young men that you know you’ve done a good job with. I’ll miss the organization, the strategy of preparing for games, my other coaches. I’ll miss a lot.”
But he won’t be far away.
“I’m here (at the school) every morning and after school for kids that work out,” he said. “I’m still pretty busy. If a kid wants to work out during gym class, we’ll fill it into the schedule. It’s all for the kids. That’s why we do this.”