Kilgore College introduced Willie Gooden as its next head football coach at a press conference Jan. 3 infront of a crowd of media, fans and colleagues.
Gooden, an 12-year member of the coaching staff and former Ranger football player, was named interim head coach in December when J.J. Eckert accepted the head coaching position at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah, Okla. after the Rangers won the SWJCFC championship, won the Heart of Texas Bowl and finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation.
"There are only three words I can use to describe this awesome opportunity: My dream job," Gooden said at the press conference. "I've been associated with the KC football progarm for 14 years, two years as a student-athlete and 12 years as a coach. In that time, we’ve won three regular season championships, three Region XIV Conference championships and had a 2015 Hall of Fame Induction (undefeated 2001 KC team). To have the opportunity to be the 16th head football coach, I’m greatly honored.”
He began his playing career at KC in 2000 and earned all-conference recognition in 2000-01. He was also a part of the undefeated 2001 Ranger football team.
Gooden spent three seasons as the defensive line coach at NSU before taking over as an assistant coach for KC in 2006.
He is the college’s 16th head coach since the inception of football at KC in 1935.
PHOTO ABOVE: Willie Gooden speaks Jan. 3 at a press conference introducing him as the next head coach of the Rangers football program. Photo by Jamie Maldonado/KC