Josh Kendall

Home state Hall highest honor of Goodman’s career

Former Gamecocks football player Andre Goodman will join the coaching staff at Hammond High School.
Former Gamecocks football player Andre Goodman will join the coaching staff at Hammond High School.

On his first day as a student at the University of South Carolina, Andre Goodman walked past BJ McKie on campus. McKie already was a star for the Gamecocks basketball team, and Goodman, a freshman defensive back signee, was impressed.

“I’m not a person who gets starstruck easily, but I just remember saying, ‘Man, I’m on the same campus as BJ McKie, that’s pretty weird,’ ” Goodman said.

It’s an even bigger deal for Goodman now that he will be a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame alongside McKie.

“From an emotional standpoint, it feels like it’s culminating five years since retirement (from the NFL); and to actually be part of such a prestigious group of people is just a humbling feeling,” Goodman said. “I am always appreciative of any honor, but in terms of representing my state and you look at the names that are involved as the members who are already part of this hall of fame, I don’t think it gets much better than that from my standpoint.”

Goodman, who played defensive back for the Gamecocks from 1998-2001 and then 10 years in the NFL, is one of seven Palmetto State stars who will be inducted into the hall of fame Monday night during a ceremony at the Metropolitan Columbia Convention Center.

He will be joined by former Clemson and NFL player Donnell Woolford, former Furman and Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson, former Clemson and MLB pitcher Kris Benson, former Coastal Carolina basketball star Tony Dunkin, former Benedict basketball star Bob McCullough and Willie Simon of South Carolina State, who will be inducted posthumously.

“The SEC Legends award was surprising as well, but this is bigger because this is the state I was raised in, this is where I graduated high school, this is where I played college football, and I’m still working at my university,” Goodman said. “To be able to represent the state in this manner is very special to me.”

Goodman, who starred at Eastside High School in Taylors, is now the director of football development for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp “has welcomed me with open arms,” Goodman said.

“The first thing he said to me when he kept me on board was, ‘Just be yourself,’” Goodman said. “That was a compliment in itself.”

In his role, Goodman helps South Carolina football players find internships, brings in speakers to discuss issues ranging from domestic violence to steroids, and serves as a sounding board for the players.

“From a personal and professional standpoint, it’s not going to get much better for me than playing at USC and then playing 10 years in the NFL;, but when you can help somebody along the way whether it is football or anybody else, it feels good,” he said. “Giving back at the end of the day, after you retire, that’s all you have left.”

Andre Goodman bio

High school: All-state WR and DB at Eastside; rated the No. 20 prospect by Super Prep

At USC: 86 tackles, four interceptions and 20 pass break-ups; named All-SEC his senior season

In the NFL: Played for the Detroit Lions (2002-05), Miami Dolphins (2006-08) and Denver Broncos (2009-11)

Now: USC Director of Football Development, focusing on off-the-field activities of student athletes

This year’s class

S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame inductees on Monday:

Andre Goodman, USC football

Donnell Woolford, Clemson football

Bobby Johnson, Furman and Vanderbilt head football coach

Kris Benson, Clemson pitcher

Tony Dunkin, Coastal Carolina basketball

Bob McCullough, Benedict College basketball

Willie Simon, South Carolina State