The family, friends and others within the local sporting community are mourning the loss of John Terry “Goose” Wildgoose, who passed away on Wednesday, June 30.
The long-time coach, who’s impact was felt no matter which sideline he stood on, dedicated many of his years to empowering young athletes, far and wide. Condolences have continued to pour in as individuals recall their fondest memories of the beloved stalwart.
In a statement released by the Lobsters’ Basketball Players Club, the team he coached to basketball prominence back in the 1970’s, “Goose,” was remembered as a beloved father figure after establishing the Goose Basketball Club in 1979.
In its entirety, the statement read as follows: “We the basketball players for four decades, watched Coach John Terry Wildgoose guide many boys into becoming responsible young men in Grand Bahama and our Bahama land free of charge. Our coach loved and cared about each player. Today we are brothers and a family because of a giant of a man who was committed to the cause.
“Coach Goose was a father to all of us and taught his players life lessons through basketball, that guide them through life today. Those of us who remain, we can use the time of his legacy to improve and complete our legacy and the meaning of life.
“Coach Goose had in his Basketball family, Apostles, Bishops, Pastors, Ministers, and Deacons along with many business men. He was alumni of St. Augustine’s College, and a member of the Christ the King Anglican family.
“While traveling to and from Bimini assisting with the game of basketball, and coaching in the Grand Bahama Basketball Association up to his passing, began to spend time with Apostle Gilbert Rolle, who gave us, the basketball family, and his immediate family, assurance that Coach John Terry Wildgoose made his heart right with God.
“May we all find comfort in the words of the bible that will continue to lead and guide and direct us. Coach Goose Basketball Club and family are singing: “Walk in the light, beautiful light. Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright around us day and night. Jesus the light of the world.”
“We are all extremely proud to have had Coach Wildgoose as a father and friend. We are saddened by the passing of our coach. Our condolences go to his wife, Carla; children Anasissa, Nicole, DaJhon, and his grandchildren. We will make recommendations to celebrate Coach Terry Wildgoose.”
Former member of parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Obie Wilchombe also offered his condolences to the family and remembered Coach Wildgoose for the major accomplishment of delivering the island’s first national basketball championship to Grand Bahama in the 1980s.
“Coach Terry Wildgoose is accorded the honor of winning Grand Bahama's first National Basketball Championship in the late 1980's. Wildgoose coached his Island Lobsters to a thrilling Sunday afternoon victory over the legendary Kentucky Colonels in game five of a five game series resulting in one of the biggest celebrations ever on Grand Bahama. A trend of almost two decades had been broken and we were happy.
“Terry Wildgoose dedicated his life to using the vehicle of sport to drive honor and dignity among our youth, making boys men and contributors to our society.
“Coach Wildgoose sacrificed beyond measure to better a people he so deeply cared about. He believed all people are important, and each deserves an opportunity.
“Terry made Grand Bahama proud! We cherish his contribution and must find the appropriate way and tribute to remind all that Terry Wildgoose walked this way,” said Wilchombe.
Progressive Liberal Party chairman Fred Mitchell also echoed Wildgoose’s impact as a coach but heralded his commitment to uplift the youth in recent years, particularly coaching Grand Bahama’s Special Olympic athletes to great feats.
“More than a basketball club, Coach Wildgoose built a family of boys and men who contributed much to the Grand Bahama communities. The Island Lobster brand attracted a local and national fan base, made up of people from all walks of life.
“His winning record with the Island Lobsters elevated him to the rank of national team coach and Sports Hall of Fame status.
“John Terry Wildgoose spent his final years committed to community and sporting work at the YMCA in Freeport - coaching and mentoring challenged students at the Beacon School, and Special Olympics athletes who represented Grand Bahama and the Bahamas.
“Goose was a veteran junkanooer who founded and formed his own group several years back. He was a leader of men and gave of his talents and resources freely. He gave far more than he ever received.
“John Terry Wildgoose was a gift to our nation and we thank him for his countless contributions,” Mitchell’s comments concluded.