Goforth retiring at Benet; Lawler to become new AD
Gary Goforth, athletic director at Benet for the last 30 years who also served there as a football and baseball coach and Biology teacher, is retiring in June after 42 years at the school.
Benet announced Goforth's retirement in a joint news release announcing Scott Lawler, who has served as director of recruiting, assistant AD and head baseball coach at the school since his hiring in 2011, as the next AD.
A graduate of Augustana College with a degree in Biology and Secondary Education, Goforth began his career at Benet teaching Biology and assisting in coaching football and baseball. He taught Biology for 37 years and was the head football coach for Benet for 22 years (1988-2009). He took over as AD in 1990.
During his tenure as AD, Benet has won 12 team state championships, had five state runners-up, six teams take third at state and two place fourth. Three football teams made it to the state semifinals and 31 other sports teams made it to the Elite Eight in state tournaments. Goforth oversaw expansion of Benet's athletic program to include girls golf, boys volleyball and girls and boys lacrosse. In 1990 he helped Benet join the East Suburban Catholic Conference (ESCC). Benet in the last 31 years has won 216 championships in what is regarded as one of the toughest conferences in the state.
"What has always impressed me most about Gary has been his outstanding commitment to being present not only to Benet's student athletes but to their parents and the Benet fans as well," Benet Principal Steve Marth said in a statement. "Whenever I would ask him about a specific player, he could tell me about the student's background, skill development, and momentous plays, not just for the current year but during previous seasons as well."
Goforth was involved in the expansion of athletic facilities at Benet including St. Ronald Gymnasium which enlarged gym space, athletic offices, training facilities, and locker rooms and St. Scholastica Athletic Campus which added lacrosse and softball fields along with eight tennis courts and a running path.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Benet," Goforth said. "I could not have imagined when I started at Benet how many people I would meet and still stay in touch with. The students, coaches, officials, parents, faculty and staff at Benet have made me a better person, coach, teacher and athletic director. All of these people have definitely had an impact on my life in so many ways. Yes, I am retiring, but I am taking with me so many memories made here at this very special place. Moving forward, all I can say is, thank you to the people who gave me the opportunity."
Lawler currently works in multiple areas of the school as Director of Recruiting, Assistant Athletic Director and head baseball coach. Hired in October 2011, Lawler has played an instrumental role in both the athletic department and in marketing Benet to prospective students and families.
Prior to working at Benet, Lawler was the District Athletic Director at Dowagiac Union School District in Michigan (2010-2011) and associate head baseball coach at University of Notre Dame (2006-2010). A native of Naperville, Lawler was a three-sport athlete in high school and played collegiately as a pitcher, outfielder and first baseman.
"I'm excited to start my new chapter at Benet Academy," Lawler said in a statement. "I have learned a lot in my career about the importance of athletics to students, parents, coaches, and the entire school community. I'm hoping to build on the experiences and programs that Gary Goforth and our coaches have established."