Goldsmith was simply known as
“The Gentleman Coach”
They always called him “Coach.”
That’s how former players and colleagues remember William “Bill” Goldsmith, who was involved with Blue Dragon athletics as a coach for 30 years from 1954 to 1984.
The impact of his leadership is not counted by the number of victories, but rather, the support Goldsmith offered athletes both on and off the playing field.
“I learned a lot about work ethic from Bill Goldsmith,” said Terry Masterson, former Blue Dragon track and cross country coach and fellow Hutchinson Quarterback Club Hall of Fame inductee.
Former players and colleagues note how Goldsmith was “compassionate, caring, and had a great relationship with players. In honor of the enduring legacy, Goldsmith was inducted into the Quarterback Club Hall of Fame in 2003.
Goldsmith was raised in Melvern, Kansas. With two brothers in the household, competition was as natural as dinnertime.
Football soon became a passion for all three boys. After high school, all three played at Emporia State University, were selected to the ESU Football Hall of Fame and became coaches. While at Emporia State, Goldsmith connected with two people who would become mainstays in his later life; his future wife, Glennis, and a fraternity brother, Sam Butterfield.
“We competed against each other in high school,” Butterfield said. “We both went to Emporia State and joined the same fraternity. We went off to war. Came back and finished our degrees. Then Bill went to Ness City to coach and I went to Wamego. Years later, we came back together, this time in Hutchinson.”
After college, Goldsmith spent six years coaching high school football at Ness City. The win/loss record of Goldsmith’s team for those years is quite impressive, according to Tom Goldsmith, Bill Goldsmith’s son.
“One year the team even went undefeated,” Tom Goldsmith said. “And the next year, the team only lost one game.” Building on that success, Goldsmith moved to Hutchinson in 1951 to take over the head coaching job at Hutchinson Community College.
“I went along to all of my dad’s practices in those days,” Tom Goldsmith said. “Above all, I remember dad’s love for the sport. He tried to instill in the kids that love for the game. He also expected everyone to work hard. He believed if you put forth your best effort then good things always happen.”
“Sure, dad didn’t like to lose any game. He had trouble dealing with loss because he wanted the kids to experience success. Still, he also believed winning isn’t everything."
One win that did mean nearly everything to Goldsmith occurred during the 1960 season. Hutchinson traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to play a game. Their opposing team was nationally ranked and had the home field advantage.
The odds seemed dismal, but as Tom Goldsmith explained, his dad wasn’t deterred. The game was close, “we listened on the radio,” Tom Goldsmith said.
The turning point came during a punt. The Blue Dragon long-snapper nearly snapped the ball over the punter’s head. The punter got the ball and kicked it while on the run. The ball sailed 70 yards going over the Grand Rapids safety. Hutchinson went on to win the game.
“I think that was the greatest coaching moment, to take a bunch of Kansas boys and beat a nationally ranked team,” Tom Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith was Hutch's football’s head coach from 1954 to 1962 and compiled a 36-44-6 record.
Along with coaching football, Goldsmith also served as assistant basketball coach for the Blue Dragons. In 1962, he moved from the football field to the golf greens, becoming the Blue Dragon men's golf coach, a position he held until his retirement in 1984.
Over the course of those coaching years, Goldsmith also joined the HutchCC teaching staff and he returned to school himself, eventually earning a master’s degree from Emporia State.
Family and friends say Goldsmith would be honored to be named to the Quarterback Club Hall of Fame.
“I think he would be pleased about this honor,” Butterfield said. “HCC meant a lot to him.”