“I want to thank Paul for his tireless service to the women’s golf program and the University as a whole,” Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. “He has been a great ambassador of the school and a great coach of his program, earning numerous coaching accolades as well as leading the team to CAA titles and NCAA regional appearances. We will miss him deeply and wish him and Lisa well as they pursue the good life they both so richly deserve.”
Gooden has served as the mentor for the women’s golf program for the last 15 years, lead the Dukes to four Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles and a pair of NCAA Regional appearances for the team in 2005 and 2013. He also had four individual CAA winners and earned a pair of CAA Coach of the Year honors. Gooden has had 19 All-CAA players, 19 team tournament victories and three individuals qualify for the NCAA Regionals. He also served as the men’s golf coach, earning three Virginia Coach of the Year honors, garnering the 1998 District Coach of the Year award and leading the team to six NCAA East Region berths and 12 tournament victories.
“This is something that I have thought about for a while and it is just time,” Gooden said. “The program has grown and is in really good shape and I am very proud of all that we have accomplished here at JMU and will always bleed purple. I want to thank Jeff Bourne and Geoff Polglase for all of their support over the years, as well as the rest of the administration and other sport programs. This is going to be a great new time in my life as Lisa (his wife) and I are relocating further south so we can pursue our hobbies and just enjoy life.”
Personally, he previously served as the head golf professional at the Country Club of Staunton and was former vice president and tournament director of the Southern Chapter of the Middle Atlantic Professional Golf Association (MAPGA). He also qualified for the National Club Professional Championships three times, the National Senior Club Professional Championship in 2006 and the 2013 National Senior PGA Championship. He also a massed a number of Mid-Atlantic PGA tournament victories, including the 2004 MAPGA Senior Match Play Championship and 2006 MAPGA Senior Championship.
A national search for Gooden’s replacement will begin in the coming weeks.