Ray Goddard’s passion for sports started at an early age, continued into his college career and is still present in his professional life. As a high school student, Goddard said he wasn’t a star athlete, but his coaches and competitive nature helped him become a better athlete.
“I wasn’t good at any sport. I had to work at it, and I owe a lot of credit to all of my coaches who saw my potential,” Goddard said.
As a senior in high school, Goddard was offered basketball scholarships at Houston, Georgia Tech and Indiana State University. He chose Indiana State mainly because of then head basketball coach, Duane Klueh, ’49.
“Coach Klueh was a great coach and gentleman. It was a really great opportunity to play,” Goddard said.
Upon arriving at Indiana State, Goddard studied pre-law. After his freshman year and with his competitive focus, he become a dual athlete and played baseball as well. During his collegiate basketball career, Goddard led the nation with a 92 percent free throw average. Today, Goddard still holds the free throw percentage record and is fifth in career scoring with an average of 17.4 points per game in three seasons. These achievements, among others, earned him induction into the 2005 Indiana State University’s Hall of Fame.
After graduating, Goddard was drafted into the American Basketball League but later came back to the area to teach high school English, social science and government in Reelsville and Clinton. Wanting to make an impact on high school athletes — just as so many of his coaches had done for him — Goddard coached golf and basketball. He then began to focus on his golf game during the summers when school was out of session. Being the athlete he was, he was determined to perfect the game of golf. Goddard didn’t pick up a club until his senior year at Indiana State. He wanted to take a golf class to learn the game, but the all-male class was full. To compromise, he enrolled in the all-female golf class.
“All women and me. That was the best class I ever had at Indiana State,” Goddard said with a chuckle.
From that point on, he was hooked. Goddard is now a member of the Professional Golf Association and has won 12 PGA Championships since he started playing. One monumental moment in his career was when he became runner up in the Indiana Open tournament against national champion, Fuzzy Zoeller, a professional golfer known worldwide who has won 10 PGA Tour victories, including the 1979 Masters and 1984 U.S. Open.
In 1985, Goddard purchased Hoosier Hills Golf Course. He served as the city of Terre Haute’s director of golf and worked at several golf courses, including the Elks Club, Rea Park, Hulman Links and now in his current position as the golf professional at Idle Creek Golf Course.
Today, Goddard is still involved with Indiana State. He offers his expertise by assisting with the planning of the Terre Haute Alumni Club Golf Outing and is a strong supporter of Sycamore Athletics. The ISU Alumni Association summer golf outings are held in five locations in Indiana from June through July. Learn more about the outings and other summer events at www.indstate.edu/alumni