Wayne Goddard’s Social Club

An invitation from assistant principal Wayne Goddard to join his Social Club – detention – was something no Central Student wanted. He played the bad cop to Principal Fred Wilferth’s good cop, although, truth be told, I never heard anybody speak ill of him.

Coach, Navy vet, All-American

The Class of 1965’s reunion booklet had a page in the back that read, “Not one student that attended Central while he was there as assistant principal, did not live in fear of ‘Big G.’ However, anyone who dealt with him on a one-to-one basis knew Mr. Goddard to be fair, without malice and always looking out for the students’ welfare and moral character.”

I guess I should have surmised from that that Big G must have moved his Social Club on to another plane, but it didn’t register. When I did a search of The Missourian’s archives, I was surprised to see that he had died Sept. 22, 1984, at the age of 70. He always seemed like one of those guys who would be around forever.

He was born June 9, 1914, in Anna, Ill. He graduated from SEMO in 1939, where he earned All-American honors in football in 1937 and participated in track. He was a Navy veteran, having served during World War II and the Korean War. Mr. Goddard was head football coach at SEMO from 1947 to 1951. The SEMO State University Goddard Football Award for the best offensive lineman is named each year in his honor.

His obit said he married Martha Male on Dec. 3, 1939. Survivors at the time included his wife, one son, Hal W. Goddard, Jackson; two daughters, Mrs. Helen Harris, St. Louis, and Mrs. Kathy Barry, Advance; two brothers, Craig Goddard, Chicago, Ill., and Byrl Goddard, Carbondale, Ill.; and two grandsons.

Wayne Goddard news stories

There were scores of clips about Mr. Goddard, but most of them were routine sports wraps. Here are some that rose above the average. I particularly like the first one. I can just hear him growling that comment.

  • Oct. 13, 1947 – When the State College Indians dropped their opening game against the Warrensburg Mules in 1947, “Coach Goddard’s curt comment on the game was to the effect that the Indians displayed about the poorest exhibition of blocking and tackling he had ever witnessed. He said the Mules’ line outplayed his line from start to finish. He intimated that he may start at least eight freshmen against the Kirksville College Bulldogs. ‘If I can’t get football out of the older boys, I might as well start building for the next season,’ he said.”
  • Oct. 27, 1947Mrs. Wayne Goddard and son, Hal Wayne, 2000 Thilenius Street, were dismissed from Southeast Missouri Hospital. The child was born Oct. 17.
  • Feb. 6, 1952 – Lt. Wayne Goddard, due to report for active Navy duty and assignment to Guam next month, announced today his resignation as coach of State College and his retirement from the coaching field. “I want to thank every football fan and Southeast Missouri State College for the cooperation and support of the team during my work at the college. I’m truly sorry that I’ve been unable to win more regularly than 41 per cent of my games, but the thoughtful consideration given me has made the work more enjoyable than the record indicates. I hope the new coach will never lose.”
  • Apr. 14, 1958 – 12 Records Fall as Cape State Beats Team from Arkansas: In the high jump, John Lorberg of Cape and Stegal of Jonesboro tied for first with a leap of 6 feet 1-1/8 inches, which broke the record of 6 feet 1-inch held by Wayne Goddard of Cape, since 1936.
  • Feb. 20, 1962 – Wayne Goddard, assistant principal at Central High School, said students heard the space shot [John Glenn’s flight] over radio. No, he didn’t want to be the next astronaut to the moon. “I’ve gone to sea too many times and got sick too many times.”
  • Apr. 27, 1962 – Hook, Line and Sinker column: Wayne Goddard and his son, Hal, had a trotline out on the Brockmeyer pond north of Cape. Their single catch was a whopper, a 14-pound cat that stretched 29 inches.

16 Replies to “Wayne Goddard’s Social Club”

  1. Wayne and Hal were in Troop 4 Scout troop. My dad was scoutmaster. I got to know him outside the school environment before I was in high school. A man of conviction and character.

  2. My Junior and Senior years at Central I worked for “Big G”. I don’t remember my title if there was one but I walked the halls, pulling attendance slips from the doors and writing hall passes for Mr Goddard to sign. I did some administrative work in the entrance to his office where several of us had a table and a couple of chairs in his not too large office. It probably had something to do with those slips.
    When we entered Cental from Junior High School Mr Wilferth came with us to Central. He was the Assistant Principal for a year before Mr Goddard. I already had a tremendous respect for Mr Wilferth. As you stated, Ken, when Mr Goddard assumed the position of Asst Principal and Mr Wilferth moved to Principal, Mr Goddard assumed the role of “bad cop”. I didn’t know if I wanted to work for Mr Goddard when the opportunity presented itself but at the time I would do anytime to get out of study hall so I accepted. I learned quickly that the role of “bad cop” was just that, a role. Mr Goddard as a disciplinarian could be intimidating but in reality he was a concerned, likeable educator and a man of respect with a great sense of humor. In 1962, when I was graduating from CHS, he wrote an unexpected and unsought letter of recommendation for college. I still have a copy of that letter and I treasure it.

  3. Can’t recall why the school board passed over Mr. Goddard for Dallas Albers and Wade Callicut. There must have been a good reason.

  4. Mr. Goddard was an all around good guy. I was sometime member of the social club, I forgot what I did to deserve a time extra time to study after school but I served my time. I guess it worked, I never had to got back to “The club”.
    Mr. Goddard was an exceptional althele and the stories of his Football exploits were still around SEMO when I was in school in the late 60’s.

  5. My only brush with the “social club” was when Mr. Goddard (sweet man) decided that I should get a warning for skipping study hall to hang out in the Auditorium. Is suspect he felt my exposure in the “club” to “roudies” like Terry Hopkins would not improve my behavior. LOL!

  6. Well, once again I have a story different from the experiences most of you all had. I spent a lot of after school time in the library on detention with Mrs Wilkening on whom I had a huge crush. I like the think women back then. I also had a big crush on Carol Draper. πŸ™‚
    Anyway, whenever I was on detention, they would get a phone call from Mr Goddard. He would ask Mrs Vogelsang “Do you have Clyde up there today?” She would respond “Yes Mr Goddard he is sitting not to far away reading a Sports Illustrated Magazine.” Mr Goddqard would say something like this: “Well send him down to my office. I have a lot of paperwork for him to do. Let him do something useful for a change.” So the librarians would either call out, or come over to me and tell me Mr Goddard wanted to see me in his office. The first time that happened I was frightened to death.
    However, I remember entering his office in a cold sweat, and him looking at me in a very hard way. Then the next thing I knew he would pull open his desk drawer and pull out a Checker board. πŸ™‚ He rubbed his hands together with a big smile and said “I heard you were the best Chess player and Checker player in school?” So I told him “Yes sir I can hold my own with most people. The next thing I knew we were going at it playing Checkers. We played until it got dark and the Football team, or whatever season it was stopped practicing. Then he would either drive me home, or I would walk depending on the weather and the season. It didn’t matter to me one way, or the other. We were all young and super strong back them so walking a couple miles didn’t bother me at all. I remember him very affectionately for all those many hours we spent talking and staring at the Checker board uninterrupted.
    I was a much stronger player than Mr Goddard, but playing with him, taught me that there were certain times when it was best to pretend you were playing your best and lose the games. πŸ™‚ I had to do the same thing at SEMO when Dr Birk, Dr Sessions, Malahy, Dr Cordonnier introduced me to Dr Grauel one day on the Tennis courts. I really didn’t know who he was, but something told me he was a big shot at SEMO. And he was a pretty old fellow in 1965. So I played a set or two with him and let him win as well. πŸ™‚
    Speaking of SEMO I still think about often and really miss Dean Mary Helen Flentge. she was such a beautiful woman with the loveliest smile, and she was always very nice to me. I think my mother worked for her part time. She always spoke highly of Mrs Flentge. So I felt right at home when I started SEMO. I quickly had powerful friends in high places. The only problem was they wouldn’t do my homework for me,and they didn’t stop the military from drafting me. πŸ™‚
    SEMO was great fun though. Much more fun than high school.

    I was also really fond of his daughter Helen Goddard who was my classmate. She was very sweet to me. I was very jealous when she started dating that cool fellow in High school, but it was a more ancient, dangerous time and I didn’t say anything to her about it. A wonderful young woman. Sadly, I have not seen Helen since high school, and have no idea how she is doing, or where she is. Hal was a great kid too. He was in the class of 65. Unfortunately he died in his early forties I guess. He married Peggy Estes I think.


    And so it went.

  7. Why was my post of a half hour or so ago removed Kenny?
    I didn’t save it anywhere as I didn’t realize we had censors here. I don’t want to type it all again.

    So would you remove whatever offended you and reporst it?

    Or call me at 573-332-8707 and let’s discuss it Ok? πŸ™

    1. Clyde,

      Your post wasn’t censored. Far from it, I enjoyed your portrait of Mr. G..

      If you don’t see something show up, press Ctrl-F5 to refresh your browser cache.

      For the record, I’ve held less than half a dozen posts since the blog was up. Almost all were related to off-topic personal attacks on other posters in the Rush Limbaugh / Terry Jones piece. In every case, I sent messages to the sender explaining why the comments wouldn’t appear and saying they were welcome to tone down the rhetoric and try again. One guy got to two strikes, but managed to write something acceptable on the third.

      With those exceptions, everybody who has posted a comment has added light, not heat.

      Sorry you thought I was hiding your light under a bushel. That was most certainly NOT the case.

      One other circumstance might keep your comment from showing. I have a pretty effective spam filter looking at the comments. It’s not unusual for me to log in and see as many as 1,800 comments in the spam bucket. When that happens – and knowing that it’s made very few mistakes – I’ll dump them without looking at them.

  8. I, too, was a member of the social club. He was actually understanding why I skipped a class, but, “you do the crime, you do the time.”

  9. I worked for Mr. Goddard my junior and senior year (1961-1962) as a hall monitor. I found him to be wonderful man, having never being a member of his “Social Club”!
    He was very freindly and trated most everyone well, until you “messed up” abd you would find yourself amember of his “club”.

  10. GOD is great Ken! πŸ™‚ Keep up the fine things you are doing.

    Unfortunately, our time may be short. According to Harold Camp, the Groundhog will be bringing us our mail after tonight. πŸ™

  11. Thank you, Clyde Lee Benson III, for your gracious comments about my Aunt, Dean Mary Helen (Kinder) Flentge. She was my Dad’s older sister and his only sibling. As with so many who’ve gone before, we remember her with great fondness.

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