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Coach Gibbs

Cars, Coincidence, and a Hall of Fame Coach

By Josh Blue

        The Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway was not only a wonderful evening for the winner, Kyle Busch, but also for Hanover High School junior, Michael Goddin.

        On the first week of school, Richard Totten, Michael’s entrepreneurship teacher, assigned a project where each student was to research an entrepreneur who interested them. “The assignment was designed to allow students to research an entrepreneur of their choice and work on public speaking by presenting it to the class,” Totten said. As a lifelong fan of the Washington Redskins and NASCAR racing, Michael selected coach Joe Gibbs, a Super Bowl champion coach and NASCAR team owner. After a thorough investigation into the life of Gibbs, Michael formatted a presentation that was described by his teacher and classmates as “the best in the class.” Michael described the presentation as “ a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

A mere week after Michael’s presentation to his classmates, he experienced the surprise of a lifetime. During a quick intermission from Saturday’s race, Michael stepped out into a hallway at Richmond Raceway where he was greeted by a familiar face: Joe Gibbs. Michael described the initial feeling as “the coolest thing ever… a moment I will never forget.” The three-time Super Bowl winning coach, who was in attendance to support his race team, Joe Gibbs Racing, generously allowed Michael to try on his Super Bowl ring. After a few minutes of conversation and autograph signing, Gibbs and Michael parted ways to enjoy a race that would end in a first place finish for Kyle Busch, a member of Joe Gibbs’ racing team.

Michael said that the timing of his counter with Joe Gibbs was “very cool” and that he will always remember the encounter. Gibbs gave him some powerful words of encouragement and assured Michael that with hard work and a positive attitude, anything is possible. At the conclusion of his interview, Michael enthusiastically chanted, “Hail to the Redskins,” a punch line that his idol Joe Gibbs would most definitely approve.

Photo provided by Eileen Goddin