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Former S.C. State assistant football coach passes away

In addition to his career as an assistant football coach in college, Sam Goodwin was a pastor who also had a stint as the head football coach at Eau Claire HS.
Credit: WLTX
Former S.C. State assistant football coach Sam Goodwin, who was also on the Richard Bell staff at South Carolina before coaching in the high school ranks, speaks after being inducted into the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.

For the second time this week, the Midlands has lost a member of the coaching profession.

Sam Goodwin, a former assistant at South Carolina State, passed away Wednesday after an extended illness. He was 76.

A former football and basketball player at South Carolina State, Goodwin was a three-time All-Conference selection for the Bulldogs.

He returned to his alma mater where he was on Willie Jeffries' first coaching staff at S.C. State. Goodwin served as linebackers coach as well as the strength and conditioning coach from 1973-1978.

He was also an assistant basketball coach at SC State under the late Tim Autry.

Following the 1978 season, Goodwin followed Jeffries to Wichita State, where the latter made history as the first African American coach at a major university, spending five seasons on the Shocker’s staff. He later coached one year at the University of South Carolina under Richard Bell.

According to an official press release from S.C. State, Goodwin is known for the phrase “don’t cheat your body,” when putting SC State football players through rigorous strength and conditioning exercises.

Later in his career, he was the head football coach at Eau Claire High School in Columbia where he was founder and pastor of Stedfast Christian Center.

He has been inducted into the SCSU Athletics Hall of Fame (1998), the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Athletic Hall of Fame (2014), and the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame (2018). He was also a member of the Bulldog Centennial (1907-2007) Football Team.

Goodwin, who had been battling cancer,  is survived by his wife, Fannie, and five children. Due to the current health crisis surrounding the coronavirus, funeral services for Goodwin will be delayed and announced at a later time, according to a family spokesperson.