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  • Fairbury News staff

Goodwin ready to lead football

Newly named Prairie Central head football coach Mike Goodwin is excited to build on what his good friend Andrew Quain has done in recent years.

“He’s done such as amazing job,” Goodwin told Fairbury News in an interview Sunday evening.

Goodwin was appointed following an executive session during last Thursday’s regular meeting of the Prairie Central Board of Education.

“We are excited to have that experience level here taking over our football program,” said PCHS Athletic Director Austin Wenger.

Goodwin, who has been out of head coaching for six years, spent the last two as an assistant at Ridgeview-Lexington under one of his best friends, Hal Chiodo. The wheels started turning for the PC job after Quain told Goodwin he would no longer be coaching.

“One thing led to another, I applied and it worked out,” recalled Goodwin. “I’m pretty excited about it.”

At Ridgeview-Lexington, Goodwin was the offensive and defensive line coach. He was previously offense line coach at Normal when Chiodo decided to return to Illinois and asked him to help with the job in Colfax.

“We had two pretty good years over there,” said Goodwin.

Prior to getting into head coaching, Goodwin was an assistant at Normal back when it was only one school before Normal West even existed.

“My first (head coaching) job was at Camp Point. The year before we got there, they only had less than 20 kids in their program and we spent three years building it up.”

Goodwin also coached at Eureka which had success before he got there.

“Prairie Central is kind of the first one I’ve been to that’s had a really good track record,” he explained.

The Prairie Central football program is familiar to Goodwin since previous PC coach Kirk Brandenburg was his JFL coach a long time ago and the two are friends. He also has the connection with Quain as Ridgeview-Lexington and Prairie Central were both very senior dominated last year. The two teams did 7-on-7 the past two summers.

“The kids just really work hard and are very respectful and very team-oriented,” Goodwin observed. “That’s one of the things that really drew me to it.”

Goodwin has known PC assistant Dan Groce for a long time as he would call him for advice on defense.

“I’m excited Dan is going to stay and do that.”

Coach Goodwin hopes to bring in Todd Miller as an assistant coach. He was the defensive coordinator at Ridgeview-Lexington and the two coached at Normal together. Goodwin hopes to fill a couple more positions too.

The Physical Education teacher at Hoose Elementary currently lives in Bloomington and expects to be out of school in plenty of time to make it to football practice at Fairbury in the afternoon.

“Hopefully, down the line, I can get a teaching job there,” Goodwin added.

Goodwin plans to visit with the weight-lifters this week and meet some of his players at the high school and those in eighth grade.

Due to personal health reasons, former PC head football coach Andrew Quain announced plans earlier in the year to step down from coaching, calling it "bittersweet." While he said it was not something he intended or wanted to do, it was something he needed to do.

(Mike Goodwin, photo via PCHS on Twitter)

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