Combining his experience as the Florida A&M men’s tennis coach with his teaching methods as a pharmacy professor have enabled Dr. Carl Goodman to motivate his players and students to strive for excellence.
During his time attending Jacksonville University, Goodman played on the tennis team and learned the fundamentals of the game. Goodman has been coaching the FAMU men’s tennis team for more than 11 years.
Sophomore Takura Happy said Goodman’s support has been an essential part of his growth as a young man and a tennis player during his time at FAMU.
“He’s been more like a father figure to me since I left Zimbabwe,” Happy said. “He’s taught me about taking responsibility when it comes to class work, being disciplined on the court and leading the team by example. I’ve learned how to lead, he showed me that in order to be a good leader I have to be able to follow those with wisdom first.”
Goodman has been a professor at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science for 14 years, and currently instructs graduate level courses. Teaching classes with eight graduate students and two research associate students working under him, Goodman encourages his players to balance their time.
“It’s all about stressing time management to my players,” he said. “The things I implement with tennis help me in the graduate program. With my eight students, we talk about team building, sharing and helping each other out for the goo of our lab. These are the things that cross over in all aspects of life.”
Senior Michael Moore said Goodman has the ability to keep the FAMU tennis team loose and mentally focused before competition.
“A lot of people might perceive coach as a serious person, but it’s the complete opposite,” Moore said. “With us he jokes around a lot especially before matches so we definitely feel comfortable when we’re with him.”
Ebenezer Oriaku, a professor and colleague of Goodman’s in the College of Pharmacy, said Goodman is passionate about his professional and viewed as a very trustworthy individual.
“I’ve known Dr. Goodman from my days as a student at FAMU,” Oriaku said. “He’s a very caring individual that has done a lot for the school and for athletics also. I’ve worked for him at least 14 years and you can take his word for what he says. You can trust him and have confidence that he will get whatever he tells you done.”
Goodman said longevity has been an essential factor in the gaining his players trust, which has been a direct result of his team’s success during the last 20 years.
“We’ve never finished anything less than second in 20 years with the conference,” he said. “The tennis team was nationally ranked three times since 2000 and won at least six HBC championships.”
Junior Stephan Black said Goodman is always willing to help his students whenever they need assistance.
“He always has a smile on his face and he’s a really laid back personality,” Black said. “He’s very approachable; when Dr. Goodman isn’t traveling he always finds time to help out all of his students.”