(THE NEWS/files) Rich Goulet works with the Marauders in 2015. He was fired as coach after complaints.

UPDATE: Goulet still looking to coach Pitt hoops

Hall-of-fame coach back home after hospital stay.

While he decides what to do next, Rich Goulet has made it clear that he has no intention to take his talents elsewhere.

“I’ve had four coaching offers,” he said. “But it’s still too early to think about that.”

Goulet said he has too much invested in Pitt Meadows to contemplate starting another program with a new school. He said the work required to implement a new system at a different school would take too long at this stage of his career.

Goulet said he is frustrated with the local school board’s inability to give him an answer regarding the process used to justify his dismal as coach of the senior and junior boys basketball teams at Pitt Meadows secondary.

He said while he’s staying away from the board meetings, where parents are demanding answers, he does have a lawyer who is looking into the matter. He said once he has a clearer picture, he will decide whether to take action.

“I don’t think the process was handled well,” said the 71-year-old Basketball B.C. Hall of Fame coach. “I’m still wrestling with the decision.”

Goulet said the school board’s decision is hurting the school programss future. There’s been widespread backlash after Goulet was asked to not return after last season.

He said many teams around the province have said they won’t play against Pitt Meadows or in the school’s annual tournament.

His strong presence in the community was brought to the forefront again Tuesday, Sept. 19, when Goulet got the loudest applause from guests at a recent Rotary dinner to hand out cheques for money raised through the duck race, even though he wasn’t there.

Goulet had to miss the event after he was home recovering from a cardiac procedure the day before the event.

“As much as I would like to have been at the dinner, the doctors recommended 48 hours of inactivity in order to recover,” said Goulet. “I love working with Rotary and we have a great relationship. I’m looking forward to continuing working with them.”

Ninety per cent of money raised from the annual charity event goes back to those groups who helped sell tickets, and the Pitt Meadows Youth Basketball Association sold the second most: $9,300.

Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association sold $10,020, knocking Goulet’s group from the top spot it has occupied almost ever year since the duck race started seven years ago.

Bonnie Telep, with Meadowridge Rotary, which organizes the duck race with Haney Rotary, said Goulet is a tireless supporter of the event.

The money his group raised will go back to basketball programs in Pitt Meadows that Goulet has led for more than 30 years. Goulet said the money raised is split between all the teams at Pitt Meadows.

Goulet, who retired from teaching at Pitt Meadows secondary over a year ago, was asked not to return to the basketball programs at the school after complaints from parents of players on the senior boys’ team last season.

The school board and Pitt Meadows secondary administration have refused to comment on the decision, despite an outpouring or support for Goulet from other and former players, including two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, as well as other professional basketball players from B.C.

Five years ago, Goulet suffered a stroke, but returned to coaching.

Last year, he endured kidney failure and dialysis and still coached.

Paul Eberhardt, president of the B.C. High School Boys Basketball Association, said that a delegation of former players and parents of current and former players was to appeal to the local school board Wednesday evening about reinstating Goulet as coach at Pitt Meadows secondary.

The former Pitt coach said the board refuses to explain the process leading to his dismissal.

Goulet won more than 1,000 games in his 39 years of coaching high school basketball, as well as three provincial championships.

He founded and administered the Steve Nash Youth Basketball league in Pitt Meadows and also received the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award and has coached provincial and national teams as well.

 

Rich Goulet receives a volunteer award from then Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Contributed)

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