Former South Carolina State two-sport standout and assistant football and basketball coach Samuel “Herc” Goodwin died Wednesday at Baptist Hospital in Columbia following an extended illness.
A Columbia native and Booker T. Washington High graduate, Goodwin excelled in both football and basketball as a player at S.C. State, graduating in 1965. He earned All-Conference honors in both sports and was a Pittsburgh Courier All-American in football as a senior.
Goodwin was a member of S.C. State head football coach emeritus Willie Jeffries’ first staff, serving as linebacker and strength and conditioning coach for the Bulldogs during Jeffries first tenure (1973-78) at his alma mater. He was also an assistant to S.C. State late head basketball coach Tim Autry.
In 1978, 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.
One of the most beloved coaches in Bulldog history, Goodwin is known for the phrase “don’t cheat your body,” when putting S.C. State football players through rigorous strength and conditioning exercises.
Goodwin also coached on the high school level at his alma mater Booker T. Washington High and Eau Claire High in Columbia, where he was founder and pastor of Stedfast Christian Center.
He is enshrined in 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 is survived by his wife, Fannie, and five children.
Due to the current health crisis surrounding the coronavirus, final rites for Goodwin will be delayed and announced at a later time, according to a family spokesperson. Leevy’s Funeral Home of Columbia is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to 316 Wiltshire Way, Columbia, SC 29229.
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