|Year:||Class of 2012|
|Sport:||Football & Baseball|
Back when former Major League baseball catcher Jerry Goff was still in high school, then-College of Marin baseball Coach Al Endriss contacted him and made a deal.
“You come and play with me for a year and I’ll make sure you get placed somewhere,” said Endriss.
Goff, 48, who played professional baseball for years, is now a firefighter for the City of Millbrae. He describes his one-year stint at College of Marin (1983-84) as his best opportunity to get the athletic guidance he needed to excel. He played daily, usually at third base, and he had the chance to punt for the Mariners football team as well. Within a year, Endriss had called up the head coach at UC-Berkeley on his behalf.
“I said, ‘I have a young man who’s sensational and if you don’t take him now you never will because someone else will,’” Endriss recalled. “He was very, very good. I was fortunate he took me up on the offer and came to College of Marin. Our program was better with him in it.”
Goff, he said, arrived as “a typical high school athlete” with great tools. He was a high school lineman who earned all-state honors as a punter.
“He just needed a little more refinement,” Endriss said. “He wasn’t like some high school kids that you get who think they’re God’s gift to baseball. He was one of a group of great athletes that we had. He never flaunted his greatness to anybody else on the team. He just got the job done.”
Goff often asked, “What can we do? How can I get better?” Endriss said. “I run into him all the time; he’s still that way.”
Goff said he wasn’t highly recruited in high school and College of Marin coaches Rick Cuchinelli and Al Endriss were strong draws for him.
“They had a legacy,” he said. “It was a great stepping stone to your next stop. I’m very grateful I was there. I was lucky enough to play there one year and move on to Cal.
“I learned from Endriss a lot about the game itself and how to play it properly,” Goff said. “He gave me a different perspective on how to play the game at a higher level.” In addition to motivation, Endriss focused on playing the part.
“He wanted you to wear a uniform right and your hair needed to be good,” Goff said. “You had to look good. He respected the game and respected the uniform and he felt you needed to be prideful. You were going to work so dress the part.
From baseball practice, Goff would run over to the football field and practice punting. He described Coach Cuchinelli, a former bull rider, as an intense competitor who didn’t like losing.
“He taught you what it took to play at the college level. He’s super intense.”
Goff went on to play baseball for two years and football for one year at UC-Berkeley. In 1986, he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and played there through 1989. He was traded to the Montreal Expos, playing for them from 1990 to 1992. As a free agent he went to Pittsburg Pirates and then to Houston Astros in 1995. He went back and forth between leagues for about six years.
“College of Marin was a stepping stone to the rest of my career,” Goff said. “Going to a Division One school is not necessarily the best fit for everyone. I’m not sure I was mature enough or good enough. I’m not sure I would’ve been the player I was. At College of Marin I was able to learn and play every day. It allowed me to focus. It was a wonderful springboard.”
Goff began a career as a firefighter with the City of Millbrae in 2001. He currently lives in Novato with his wife and has two children. His daughter Lauren is at UC-Los Angeles. His son Jared is the quarterback for UC Berkeley.