May 6, 2011
VILLANOVA, Pa. - After 25 productive and successful seasons as an assistant under head coach Maria DiBernardi, Linda Goss has decided to retire after the weekend series with Pittsburgh. Goss has been an extremely valuable piece in helping to build the Villanova softball program to where it is today. She has been at Villanova for 662 of Maria DiBernardi's 691 victories.
Coach DiBernardi said, "I could never put into words all that Linda has meant to me and to the program at Villanova. With her help, we built a very respectable and top quality program, graduated hundreds of successful student athletes and continue to draw from all parts of the country because of the reputation for success the program has had during her tenure".
Goss started her coaching career at her alma mater in 1986 right after graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Villanova. She also played first base on the softball team throughout her four years as a Wildcat. Goss was anxious to stay with the program and joined DiBernardi's staff starting in the fall of 1986, and has remained a permanent part of Villanova softball.
DiBernardi said, "I have been very blessed to have had an assistant coach as long as Linda has been with me. I coached her in her final 2 season at Villanova and she has stayed on with the program ever since as an extremely valuable asset".
Reflecting back on her coaching career, Goss has thoroughly enjoyed watching the players blossom on the field, as well as off the field during her memorable time at Villanova. She said, "I will remember watching players go from very young freshmen to self-assured seniors. First you begin to work with them to improve their softball skills, and before you know it, you get to see them become successful in a pressure filled situation! It was equally memorable to see players succeed off the field...It is so fun to see the transition over such a short time and when they leave, they almost always find time to stay in touch".
Throughout her tenure, she has focused on both on field success and victories, as well as classroom achievements. Over the past 25 seasons, Goss has helped produce 60 BIG EAST All-Conference players along with 155 BIG EAST Academic All-Stars. Her contributions have been invaluable to Villanova softball, as everyone who has ever gone through the program knows. Along with her contributions to the student-athletes' lives at Villanova, Goss has assisted in running the Villanova Fastpitch Softball Camps to help spread the influence of the program in the area.
DiBernardi said, "I have always said that a head coach is only as good as her assistants, and she is a perfect example of that. The history of our program and success of the student athletes that have gone through our program is due in large to the thoroughness and knowledge Linda brings to the table. She will be missed!"
Goss feels she has developed tremendously as a coach over her 25 seasons on the Main Line. She says, "I think the biggest growth I have had as a coach is that you have to approach everyone in the way that they need. For example, every player doesn't have to hit the same way, but the same principals apply".
Coach Goss has also had to adjust to all of the changes off the field since 1986, as each class is different from the one before. She said, "I think understanding the generation Y group and how their needs vary from previous generations has helped me to be able to communicate better with our newer players. It was just three years ago that our team told me I had to add texting to my phone plan because email wasn't working for them...they were right!"
Linda's continued success and impact on the student-athletes has resonated throughout the entire Villanova athletic department for the past 25 years. Athletic director Vince Nicastro said, "Linda Goss has been one of the most selfless and caring coaches that Villanova has ever had. She has worked tirelessly for 25 years with our softball program and has had a positive impact on hundreds of our student athletes. Linda will be missed dearly by all of us who have had the pleasure of working with her".
Her departure comes with sadness for the softball program and Villanova as she will be sorely missed, but happiness for Coach Goss and her future endeavors. She will be able to continue her work at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she has worked since 1986 as a nurse manager, and more importantly spend more time with her daughter Casey.
Goss said of her time at Villanova, "There are many wins I will remember, and some losses that still sting, but what I remember most are the funny situations and conversations that occurred while together as a team and the wonderful people that I have had the privilege of coaching!"