by Michael Smith
Sni-A-Bar Elementary special education teacher Trace Goade didn’t think he would get into coaching football as soon as he did.
Grain Valley assistant coach Chris Cochran tried to convince Goade to become a coach as soon as he joined the district as a teacher. He was reluctant at first, but eventually joined the staff as an eighth-grade assistant coach along with head coach Ryan Adams in 2019.
This season, Goade received an upgrade on the staff as he is now the linebackers coach for the varsity team under head coach David Allie. The opportunity opened up when veteran assistant coach Pete Carpino retired.
“Coach Allie and Coach Cochran pushed me to try it,” Goade said. “Coaching eighth grade football was a good way to get my feet wet because I had never coached before.
“I always found a reason not to do it before. Now, I am glad I did. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Goade, a 2010 Grain Valley High School graduate, played linebacker and fullback for Cochran and then head coach Forrest Rovello for four years. He was a part of the 2007 Eagles team that made it to the Class 4 state semifinals.
He was a three-time all-Missouri River Valley Conference West team selection and made the all-state team as a senior. After playing football for two years at Pittsburg State, Goade came back to Grain Valley to be a teacher in 2014. This year, Goade will move to the high school to be a part of the special education program there.
After joining the staff, Goade has had no regrets. The experience has gone well for him so far, he said.
“Coach (Matt) Curts, who is our defensive coordinator, also coaches linebackers,” Goade said. “He’s been someone who has been really great to learn from. The whole defensive staff is a pretty tight-knit group. If I ever need anything, they are always willing to help. They are showing me the ropes.
“It’s been really good so far, I am so excited.”
He got to be a part of Grain Valley’s Class 5 state quarterfinal run last season, one in which the Eagles ended their season with a narrow 31-28 loss to Platte County. He got to help the varsity team when the eighth-grade season was over. He kept the team stats during games.
This year, he will be taking on a bigger role for the varsity squad.
Grain Valley had all of its starting linebackers from last season’s team graduate, which means Goade will have to prepare new players to get accustomed to playing linebacker at the varsity level.
“We have a lot of young guys who haven’t played yet but I think they are going to be pretty good,” Goade said. “Several of them I coached when I was a part of the eighth-grade staff. It’s pretty cool to see them transition to high school. There are a couple of them that are trying to make a name of themselves. I am trying to help.”
Now that he’s a coach, Goade said he’s thinking about wanting to be a head coach of his own program one day but right now, he’s focused on helping the Eagles prepare for the 2021 season.
“I am wanting to join every minute of this right now,” Goade said. “If the opportunity presents itself down the line (to become a head coach), that would be awesome.”