We are family: Purple Cat coaching is a family affair

Local Sports

ARITON, Al. (WDHN) — Coaching is a family affair for one Ariton family.

Several members of the Goodson family make up the coaching staff for Purple Cat sports. Terry Goodson has coached multiple sports all over the Wiregrass for 33 years.

He made his way back to his alma mater Ariton High School 13 years ago and so did his children.

“I’m proud that they followed in my footsteps,” head volleyball coach, assist. softball coach, assist. basketball coach and former head basketball coach Terry Goodson said. “It’s fun each and every day. Not many people get to spend a lot of time with their kids every day. It’s really fun just to see them grow up and be good Christian people and see how they grow through these kids and how they love the kids just like I did. It just makes me proud of them.”

Terry is the former head basketball coach for the Purple Cats. Now he’s an assistant to his son, Brett.

“It’s just like me kind of coaching because I’m rooting for him to do just as good as me,” Terry Goodson said.

“Stepping in and taking over that role I felt like I was more than ready for it,” Head Basketball Coach Brett Goodson said. “I have a great supporting cast. Of course it just helps a lot having my sister here. We’re always very supportive of each other.”

Brett’s sister, Haley, is also part of the Purple Cat family.

During her childhood she spent a lot of time at practices and watching her dad coach. She says those moments inspired her career.

“The relationship that they have with the kids like we can’t even go to Walmart without dad seeing someone he taught and them being like oh my gosh this man is awesome and made such an impact in my life and I think that’s what made me want to be a coach,” Head Softball Coach and assist. Volleyball Coach Haley Barefoot said “Just to have an impact on people in the same way he did and have people that you just made a difference in their lives.”

Now that Terry is an assistant coach to both of his children, he’s having to learn how to let them take the reins.

“I think that’s the hardest part because I think they’ll say ‘Dad, you need to step back just a little bit,'” Terry Goodson said. “I’m getting a little better at it. I wouldn’t say I’m great at it yet.”

“It’s tough but at the same time I’ve got to realize he’s got a lot more years in than me so sometimes it’s good to let him step up and do what he does,” Brett Goodson said.

Even though they’re following in their father’s footsteps Brett and Haley say they’re still learning from him every day.

“He has a way of correcting people and helping them without making them feel like they’re this big,” Barefoot said.

“Knowing that you never know enough that you always need to know more,” Brett Goodson said. “I think that’s the biggest thing I learned from Dad.”

Terry credits the great coaches in his life with helping him inspire his children and they hope to do the same for the Purple Cats they coach now.

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