An annual coaching award will be given to basketball coaches in B.C. in memory of a legendary Pitt Meadows Marauders coach.
The Rich Goulet Award for Basketball Lifetime Achievement was first awarded by a committee of coaches that organize the BC Grade 9 Boys Basketball Provincial Championships. It is a tournament that crowns an unofficial champion, and mirrors the senior boys provincials underway at the Langley Events Centre.
“So many of us wanted to recognize him for what he’s done – he has mentored so many coaches,” said Rob Slavik of the organizing group.
Goulet passed away in March of 2021 at the age of 74. He had coached basketball for more than 50 years, including 39 at PMSS.
He was a decorated bench boss who had been inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame, and in 2012 received the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award.
The Grade 9 championships tournament was put together by a longtime coach Slavik, with the help of Goulet, 25 years ago. Slavik said Goulet was known for his unselfish sharing of all his coaching knowledge with his peers.
Goulet saw their appreciation first-hand, as he was made the first recipient of his namesake coaching award in 2018, followed by Paul Eberhardt (2019) and Ted Cusick (2020).
There was a two-year hiaitus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year Terry Fox coach Rich Chambers and Maple Ridge Rambler Ken Dockendorf were also honoured as recipients for the past two seasons.
And now, the award will be given to the BC High School Boys Basketball Association, to be handed out as an annual award at the end of each season.
“It belongs on a bigger stage,” said Slavik. “It belongs with the senior organization for BC high school basketball.”
Saint Thomas More named their prestigious Chancellor Tournament after Goulet passed away. He had coached at the Burnaby school before going to Pitt Meadows.
There was a petition to rename the Pitt Meadows secondary gym for Goulet, started by former players, but the effort was resisted by the school board. The petition on change.org had almost 5,000 signatures.
Dockendorf was the 2020-2021 winner of the Rich Goulet award, although play was disrupted by pandemic health orders.
“Doc likes to say it was the first season he was undefeated,” said Slavik.
Dockendorf and Goulet were longtime rivals and friends, and Dockendorf called him “the most dedicated coach in the history of this province.” Both had elite teams, the best years being the late 1980s and early 1990s, and they met in the provincial champships in 1989, with Goulet’s Marauders winning by a point.
Dockendorf’s teams won provincial championships in 1986, 1989 and 1997.
To be eligible for the Rich Goulet Award for Basketball Lifetime Achievement, a person must have coached for at least 25 years, have an outstanding record and other criteria.
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