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Inaugural Coaches’ Circle class includes Roseville’s Goto

Longtime basketball player, coach, teacher is one of 10 Sac State graduates honored
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Roseville resident George Goto, who led Placer College to the state championship in 1950 and went on to coach successful teams at Roseville High School and Sierra College, was one of 10 inductees into the new Basketball Alumni Coaches’ Circle at Sacramento State.

Honored on Oct. 18 at the Alumni Center on campus, the university established the Coaches’ Circle this year “as a way to honor area coaches that graduated from Sacramento State,” according to a news release.

Goto (Class of 1954) was honored with Dick Galvin (1952), Carl Youngstrom (1952), Ron McKenna (1958), John Karsten (1961), Gordon Pistochini (1962), John Rankin (1962), Jim Greene (1963), Bob McCoy (1963) and Al Manfredi (1964).

Combined, they compiled more than 250 years of coaching experience, according to the news release, and some formed tournaments that continue to this day. Goto was one of six in the group who played for the Hornets.

Goto said in an e-mail his induction into the Coaches’ Circle is “the greatest honor bestowed upon (me) as a student athlete at CSUS.”

Goto earned the tournament MVP award while leading Placer College to the state championship in 1950. Now known as Sierra College, he went back to serve as head coach of the basketball team from 1962-74 and was a Golden Valley Conference Coach of the Year.

Among others, Goto coached former Roseville star player and longtime Oakmont coach Gary Donnell, who said Tuesday that Goto left lasting impressions in conduct, standards and more.

“He was a real big stickler on punctuality, and I have been, too, as a coach and as a teacher,” said Donnell, a member of Sierra’s GVC championship team in 1966-67. “George has always been a disciplinarian, yet my experience with him is he gave our group the freedom to do what we were capable of doing. I didn’t feel constrained under him as a player, but I didn’t step out of my bounds. He was really caring and detailed.”

Goto also won championships as a golf coach at Sierra, and he was a baseball coach, athletic director and dean of physical education from 1962-82. Goto was part of Sierra’s inaugural Hall-of-Fame class in 2005.

Before moving on to Sierra, Goto served as varsity basketball head coach at Roseville from 1955-62. He didn’t have his win-loss record handy, but his wife, Susan, noted that Goto’s Tigers won the prestigious Kendall Arnett Tournament in Auburn in 1957. Goto also developed the Casaba Queen celebration on campus during basketball season.
Among his greatest memories at Roseville, Susan noted that, “All his players responded to him by playing to the best of their abilities.”

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.