Where do you go next when you go from jumping quarterbacks to jumping over pitwalls for a living? It just might be "jumping bass" for Tim Goad. Guess what he plans to do when he retires from his current job as jackman for Kevin Harvick Inc.
"I'm going to turn into a full-time bass pro," he said
With Tim Goad's past exploits as a reference, the bass world better watch out. I recently had a chance to spend a day fishing with Tim Goad, who wears many titles. Tim is a 10-year NFL veteran who now serves as jackman, pit stop coach, strength and conditioning coach for Kevin Harvick Inc. But in his spare time, Tim loves to bass fish. Its not uncommon to see Tim in a local team bass tournament or with his family on a local lake.
On a cool, brisk day recently at Harris Lake, Tim and I got together to spend a day from the fast lane during the short off season we both have. As Tim put it, "there's really no such thing as an off season in our professions, just a shorter work load".
The Early Years: Tim was a talented young football player for his high school team in Claudville, Va. The name Tim Goad quickly became very familiar to ACC football fans. Tim was a 4 time letterman with the UNC Tarheel football teams on defense from 1984 - 1987. Tim began his 10 year NFL stint when he was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1988. He instantly became a starter as a defensive line nose tackle.
"I got to do what alot of young kids dream of, play professional football" said Goad. "I have alot of fond memories playing in the NFL," he added.
Being dwarfed while standing beside Tim on the deck of my boat, I could only imagine what an opposing player or quarterback thought as he was faced with Tim's imposing size.
I've always been a big fan of the Green Bay Packers, something I pointed out to Tim in between cast. It didn't take Tim long to revel in some fond memories of playing against the Packers.
"One of my greatest memories is sacking Bret Favre during some great games we had against the Packers", Goad remarked. "I got a chance to play against some great players, players like Favre, Joe Montana and John Elway. I also was on some teams coached by some legendary coaches, like Bill Parcels and current Patriots head coach Bill Belichick".
Tim played in the NFL for 10 years, spending most of his playing time in New England from 1988 to 1995. Then he was traded to the Cleveland Browns for one year, and finally retiring from his football career with the Baltimore Ravens after the 1997 season.
"You don't really retire from the game of football, the game retires you", added Goad.
"Its a cruel sport to the body".
And he's got the battle scares to prove it. In his 10 year football career, Tim suffered numerous injuries. Injuries to both knees that required 2 surgeries each. He broke his right leg tibia, requiring a steel implant, and broke his left shoulder. The career ending injury of his elbow required 2 surgeries to repair a ruptured triceps tendon, which was replaced from one of his hamstrings. So where does one go after fighting in the NFL football trenches; to the Nascar racing trenches called pit road.
"It was something I never really had planned on doing, it just sort of happened, " stated Tim in between landing a nice Harris bass. "I'm from a small town in Va. called Claudville, which is home to the Woods Brothers Nascar Team. Me and the Woods brothers was bout the only famous people to come out of Claudville. One day in 1990, I meet one of the Woods brothers, and I gave him a New England Patriot's hat. He was really taken by this and invited me to be a guest at a race with them,"continued Goad.
Tim evidently took the offer, and he and his father attended the World 500 Nascar race in Charlotte, NC. While in the pits, Tim jokingly made the comment that if he ever retired from football, he would like to join their pit crew. In 1998, that offer came.
"I got a phone call one day, it was Jon Wood. He ask me if I still was interested in working with his pitcrew. I was floored, but of course I was interested since I had left football." remarked Goad with a smile. It was a natural transition for Goad, a successful NFL lineman shares characteristics of a good Cup Series jackman.
"Playing football is alot more physically demanding, but to be a jackman, you have to be big, strong and fast, its pretty physical stuff," Goad said
His first race was at Richmond International Raceway, where he quickly became a valuable member of the No. 21 Citgo Cup Series car driven by Michael Waltrip. From there, Tim joined the M&M's team, providing jack services for the car driven by Ken Schrader. Soon Tim was offered a job as the strength and conditioning coordinator for Petty Enterprises and jack man on the No. 45 Nascar Nextel Cup car driven by Kyle Petty. In 2005, Tim joined the newly formed 3 car race team operation owned by Kevin Harvick. At Kevin Harvick Inc, (KHI) Tim became the pit stop coach for the No. 77 and No. 33 Busch teams and a Craftsman Truck Team. He also is the jackman for the No. 77 Dollar General sponsored Busch car Harvick fields.
After joining KHI, Tim kicked off his employment on a high note, helping the team win the Hershey's Kissables 300 Busch Series race at Daytona, his first event with the company.
"Man, that was a neat deal. Winning at Daytona, its like winning the Super Bowl, it is the Super Bowl of Racing," said Goad as he displayed the trophy ring he wore that is given to the entire winning crew.
With the start of the 2007 racing season right around the corner, Tim has been coaching his crews, working on conditioning, making sure they are ready for Daytona. Tim properly trains them for maximum efficiency, by setting up workouts to keep them in shape. In between, he works to help choreograph pit stops for the No. 77 Dollar General car. It is a task that Tim does well, as evidenced by the fact that the KHI pit crews won several Checker's/Rally's Pit Crew Challenges last season. (The Pit Crew Challenge rewards the team that spends the least amount of time on pit road while finishing on the lead lap).
"It takes alot of endurance and strength to work not only quick but efficient when the car comes into the pits," said Goad. "Its alot like fishing, one miscue could mean missing a fish or losing track position. So we go thru multiple pit stop practices and workout routines from two to four times a week".
Tim has already tested the bass tournament waters, having fished some local team events, and even competing in some Bassmaster events. "I've won several tournaments, some local and one with the Pro Bass Challenge," said Goad. "The Pro Bass Challenge was a series of tournaments held where NFL players competed in. I won the tournament held on Lake Henderson in La. I've also gotten 5 checks fishing Bassmaster events, 2 as a boater and 3 as a co-angler," added Goad.
In between cast, we both agree how similar pro football, Pit service and pro fishing are; alot of travel, alot of time away from family, and alot of down and dirty commitment.
"All 3 is mentally and physically demanding, with fishing maybe more mental than football. But each very demanding respectively in its own way," said Goad.
With one last fish caught and released back into the lake, I just have to ask Tim when we can expect to see him reeking havoc on the bass trails like he did NFL quarterbacks.
"I don't know really. I really love working on the pitcrews at KHI, and I really love to bass fish. I feel really fortunate to been able to experience not only one thing alot dream that they could do (play pro football) but also to work on a Nascar team (winning at Daytona),." said Goad. "Alot of people dream to do what you do Jeffrey, fish for a living, and someday I hope to make that dream come true. Until then, I only have a few more years to work in racing, and a lifetime to fish."