The new school year brings a number of changes to Morro Bay High School, from an impressive new STEAM Lab and new admin building, to a new football coach.
Jake Goossen-Brown was hired as the school’s new varsity head football coach, replacing David Kelley, who was fired last October 25 after reportedly making a remark to a JV player said to be insensitive to the LGBT community and in violation of school policies of conduct.
Though just 31 years old, Goossen-Brown is a veteran coach, having started his career at 18 at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, a private Catholic school where he also attended and graduated in 2006.
Goossen-Brown was a football and track & field athlete in high school who said he planned to play football in at least a community college but injured his ankle while competing in the shot put, which put an end to his playing days.
“This is my 14th year coaching,” Goossen-Brown said. “I played there [Notre Dame] and I started coaching there.”
While at Notre Dame, Goossen-Brown helped lead the Knights to an 80-45 record and four league championships, according to a news release from MBHS. The Knights had numerous All CIF players and two that played in the NFL. He has a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Arizona State University and in 2019 earned a master’s in Exercise Science and Athletic Administration from Concordia University.
ATHLETICS RUN IN THE FAMILY
Goossen-Brown comes from a family of athletes and coaches and has a lengthy connection to San Luis Obispo County. His brother Josh once pitched for the SLO Blues semi-pro baseball team and was drafted by the White Sox in 2014.
And his uncle, Tom Goossen, is a legend among local coaches. Goossen coached football at Arroyo Grande High School for 10 years.
“We used to come up here and watch him,” Goossen-Brown said.
“I always hoped we’d play against each other.”
Tom Goossen retired after the 2016-17 school year, winning 85 games, multiple league championships and a CIF Championship in 2011.
His uncle told him about the opening at Morro Bay High, “And I jumped on it,” he said.
At Notre Dame, Goossen-Brown taught AP Biology and at MBHS he’ll be teaching P.E. and Health.
He’s brought one of his former players with him too. Ryan McNab, whose dad is in his 40th season coaching track & field at Notre Dame H.S., will be the wide receiver and defensive backs coach.
“Ryan’s a player at Cal Poly,” he said. “The kids love him because he’s young [just 19].”
Another of the coaching staff will be Dr. Tom Boshardt who will be the defensive coordinator. Goossen-Brown, who was a line coach at Notre Dame, will handle the offense. And a familiar face around the program, Rory Gerber, will be the new head junior varsity coach.
So how is the team shaping up?
“The kids are real enthusiastic,” Goossen-Brown said. “They have a great work ethic and I think we have a promising future. But we’ll take it one day at a time and try to get better every day.”
He likes the mix of ages on the team.
“We’ve got some good senior leadership,” he said, “and young guys to help build the program. Things are on the up and up.”
So will fans see a passing or running team this year?
“It’s too early to tell,” Goossen-Brown said. “Our goal is to be proficient at whatever it takes to win.”
“But I’m an offensive line coach,” he added. “So I’m a big fan of the run.”
And what about his linemen?
“We won’t know until we put pads on,” he explained, as the early summer workouts are non-contact. “I believe there are some good players here. I hope everybody does his job and we can find some success this season.”
And that season starts August 16 when the Pirates travel to Avenal for a pre-season scrimmage. The games start August 23 when the Pirates host Rio Hondo in a non-league game. They host Lindsay on August 30. On September 6 they’re at Tranquility; September 13 they’re at Gustine; and then they get a bye week.
“We’ve got six home games this year,” Goossen-Brown said. “That’s nice.”
But football isn’t the only sport with new coaches. The 2019-20 school year will also see new, head varsity boys and girls basketball coaches, as former boy’s coach Roger Fechner retired after winning the Ocean League Championship last season.
His son, Tyler, who was the girl’s team head coach the past two seasons, will take over the boy’s varsity team. Tyler Fechner is a 2003 MBHS graduate and was a point guard here and at Cuesta College, too.