Andre Goodman, Director of Football Development at the University of South Carolina (USC,) is among the six inaugural inductees into the Greenville County Schools Hall of Fame. The former Gamecock cornerback will be inducted at a January 26 dinner hosted by the Greenville County Schools Foundation.
After earning his degree from USC, lettering in football all four years, Goodman spent a decade in the National Football League. Back at USC and in his current position for the last five years, he counts Mrs. Johnson, a fourth grade teacher at Eastside Circle Elementary School, among the inspirations that enable him to help student athletes develop as students, individuals, citizens involved in their communities as well as ball players.
“She was socially aware that I was uncomfortable, so when we were getting into the reading circle, she would put me right beside her and do some little something to make help me feel comfortable. Everybody should have a Mrs. Johnson,” Goodman said.
As he advanced through the Greenville school system, he says he also was fortunate to have coaches who inspired him. “Coach John Carlisle was important in my development, and so was my basketball coach Harvey Tankersley,” said Goodman, who played multiple sports at Eastside High School. He was an all-state wide receiver and defensive back and excelled in track. He graduated in 1997 and, that fall, began his studies and athletics at USC, majoring in Sports Management and Entertainment. A letter earner four years at USC, he started at cornerback each of his last two campaigns.
After graduation, he was drafted in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft and played for the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.
From former mentors he said he was fortunate to have along the way, Goodman gained inner intuitions that “help me relate to young players, often under multiple pressures. I am one of the people, somebody relatively close to their age, who can help them find balance, especially on the personal side, for instance, how to channel anger, if they have it, into ways to help others.” Among other aspects of his position, Goodman is a liaison between community involvement and players’ opportunities to contribute.
Goodman believes being patient and exhibiting that patience can result in change for a young person. With time, he often has been able to pull back layers, like curtains, to reveal the better side of a student athlete. “I am somebody they can be transparent with.”
Goodman said he feels there is a reason for his being in this position with USC Athletics. He believes he is where he is supposed to be, and that his work with student athletes is not something he does.
“It’s part of who I am.”