GOSHEN — There was only one place Tom Wogomon wanted to come out of retirement to coach at.
He’ll get the chance to start coaching there immediately.
Wogomon was approved as the new Goshen High School varsity football coach at Monday’s Goshen Community School Board of Education meeting. The 1986 Goshen graduate takes over for Kyle Park, who went 22-57 in eight seasons leading the RedHawks.
Wogomon’s resignation as a physical education at Northridge High School became effective Monday as well, per the minutes of the Jan. 18 Middlebury Community School Board of Trustees meeting. He will get to start teaching at Goshen in that same role on Tuesday.
“There’s really only one place I would come back for, and it is this place here,” Wogomon said. “I had a wonderful time growing up here. Without coach (Ken) Mirer … the list goes on and on, as far as the coaches that impacted me. I respect so much, as far as these people, that it kind of directed me down this path. And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re doing here, is impacting kids.”
Per a press release sent out by the school, multiple Goshen High School coaches, as well as the top administrators at the school, were involved in the search for the new football coach.
Wogomon, 54, most recently spent eight seasons as the head football coach at Northridge, compiling a 52-34 record from 2013-2020. He led the Raiders to the 2014 Class 4A North semistate game and an undefeated regular season in 2017.
Prior to his time at Northridge, Wogomon was the head coach at Wawasee from 2007-12. He went 25-37 overall with the Warriors, including three-straight winning seasons to end his tenure there.
Following the 2020 season, Wogomon resigned as Northridge head coach. Wogomon admitted that, at that time, he really thought he was done coaching football. By the time the fall came around, however, he started to get the itch again to get back into coaching.
“For where I was at (last year), I was looking forward to seeing what the next chapter was,” said Wogomon of resigning from Northridge. “My intention when I stepped down was that it to be for good. And I tell you what, this past year I’ve had is incredible. My wife (Maria) and I were able to go on a fall trip that we had never been able to go on since we were married. I was able to golf a whole lot more — was able to drop my score, but not low enough to go professional, so that kind of ended that dream.
“As the season progressed and we got into late fall, that excitement was starting to get back into me. It was more of a refreshing of the batteries, I would say; a rejuvenation.”
Park was let go as the head Goshen coach on Nov. 22. From that point on, Wogomon starting toying with the idea of returning to coaching at his alma mater.
“I just starting thinking through the process of if this a move that would be good for me,” Wogomon said. “As we went in and began to speak with Goshen and the correspondence was going back and forth, there was just a lot of check marks that I just thought needed to happen to see if we were going to be a good match. … It just began more to seem like this was going to be a good fit.”
Wogomon, the winningest coach in Northridge history, is credited for turning around a Raider program that had never won a conference or sectional championship before he arrived. The foundation he laid set the stage for the 2021 Raiders team that made it all the way to the Class 4A state championship game under first-year head coach Chad Eppley.
Goshen finds itself in a similar position now to the one that Northridge was in when Wogomon took over in 2013. The RedHawks have had five-straight losing seasons, including three-straight years of only one win each from 2018-2020. The program went 4-6 this past season, with its four wins coming against teams that won a combined five games.
“We’re just going to move forward,” Wogomon said. “We’re going to jump in, and Goshen has allowed me to step in and start teaching here right away with the athletes, which is huge. That was one of the things where when they said, ‘Yeah, let’s do this,’ it was one more of those check marks that said this is going to be a good move. And that makes it exciting.”
As far as expectations are concerned, there is one goal at the top of Wogomon’s list right now.
“The one thing we want to do right away, and it’ll be our strive and it’ll be our rallying cry: we want to be relevant in this conference,” Wogomon said. Goshen has not won the Northern Lakes Conference since 2002. “That is where we’re going to start at, and that is going to be the approach moving forward. … The expectation is getting to meet these young men, getting to know them, getting that relationship started and beginning to build on that little trust factor.”