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Community mourns Steubenville wrestling coach Tommie Goff

TRAGIC LOSS — Steubenville High School and Harding Middle School wrestling coach Tommie Goff poses for a photo with his daughter, Ciara, this past summer. Goff died over the weekend at the age of 46. (File photo)

STEUBENVILLE — The Ohio Valley wrestling community, specifically Steubenville High School and Harding Middle School, lost a dear friend over the weekend when Tommie Goff died.

Although Goff, 46, wasn’t an Ohio Valley native (he was an Akron Copley grad), he touched the lives of so many youth that wanted to wrestle. He was also very instrumental, along with Steubenville High School head wrestling coach Mike Blackburn, in starting female wrestling in the Ohio Valley, and was to lead the inaugural Steubenville High School girls program this winter.

“Tommie wasn’t just a Big Red/Harding coach, he has helped and been there for wrestlers of all ages, gender and locations,” Blackburn said of his friend and assistant coach. “He truly coached for the love of the sport and the kids.”

Blackburn pointed out that Goff has been around the program for a number of years.

“Tommie was there to help coach his son Dakotah when he wrestled for Big Red and he was going to be there for his daughters … coaching the first-time Big Red girls team,” Blackburn added. “His whole family has been a big part of the Big Red and Harding programs over the years.

“Tommie will not only be missed by this program but so many wrestlers and programs all over the valley.”

Goff has held Viper Pit Tournament at WesBanco Arena for the past several years and also started GT Wrestling — Goff Trained — in downtown Weirton where hundreds of individuals train.

“Today, we are at a loss for words. Unfortunately, the Big Red family lost one of our beloved wrestling coaches, Tommie Goff. Coach Goff’s passing is a huge blow to our program and community,” Steubenville High School Principal Ted Gorman said Monday. “This is very hard for everyone at Steubenville High School and surrounding areas because he touched son many people’s lives up and down the Ohio River and even into Pennsylvania.

“He coached at Harding Middle School and Steubenville High School for many years. He was the first head coach in this inaugural season of SHS girls wrestling,” Gorman added. “In fact, it was Tommie who started and built our current girls program.

“As owner and operator of 427 Kustoms and GT Wrestling, Coach Goff touched the lives of many, young and old, during his time in the valley.

“It is an understatement to say Coach Goff was more than a coach. He had a profoundly positive impact on the lives of countless kids up and down the Ohio Valley and beyond. Through hard work, passion, and commitment, he became a giant in the sport of wrestling.

“Coach Goff didn’t coach for fame, a fact he was always quick to point out. For Coach Goff, his work in the sport of wrestling was always about one thing — the kids he felt honored to teach, guide, and develop.”

Goff leaves behind his wife Janel Goff and their three children, son, Dakotah, and daughters, Gabriella and Ciara.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the wrestling community. Gone far too soon, Coach Goff — a great coach and even better person, will live eternally in our hearts,” Gorman continued.

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