Going the Distance to Support Track and Field Athletes

Thursday, June 7, 2012
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Jim Boulanger ’75, Kate and John Goegel ’84G, Erin Philips ’13, Jake McDougle ’12

Clockwise from upper left: Jim Boulanger ’75, Kate and John Goegel ’84G, Erin Philips ’13, Jake McDougle ’12

Erin Phillips ’13 was thrilled when she learned that she’d been named the first female recipient of the John T. and Catherine E. Goegel Endowed Scholarship supporting UNH men’s and women’s track and field. For the distance runner from Belmont, N.H., the scholarship has a deeper meaning than just the financial assistance that it provides. Phillips graduated from Belmont High School, where John Goegel taught mathematics for many years, and she was a standout runner on the Belmont track and field team that Goegel coached.

“I was so surprised, and so happy, when I heard last fall I was receiving a track scholarship from the Goegels,” Phillips says. “Coach Goegel was a huge part of my life as a high school athlete, and has continued to support me as a student-athlete at UNH. Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me.”

The Goegels’ connection to UNH is a strong one. All three of John and Kate’s children—Colin ’92, John Patrick ’94, and Moira ’99— are UNH graduates, and John earned a M.S. in exercise science from the University in 1985. During his own time at UNH John developed a close relationship with his adviser, Emeritus Professor of Kinesiology Robert Kertzer, as well as coordinator of track and field/cross country Jim Boulanger ’75. His admiration for both men was one of the driving forces behind the decision to establish a track and field endowment.

“The timing was right for us financially and in terms of where we were in our personal lives. At that point, the decision to create an endowed track and field scholarship fund was an easy one.”

—John Goegel ’85G

“Professor Kertzer and Coach B made such a lasting impression on me with their tireless devotion to helping young people and their belief in UNH,” he says. “Kate and I have always had the desire to recognize their importance to UNH and also to acknowledge the University’s importance to the state. An endowed fund benefiting student-athletes seemed like the best answer to both of us.”

In a case of perfect timing, the Goegels found themselves getting serious about a gift to UNH last spring—shortly before receiving their first issue of Cat Tracker, which highlighted four graduating women’s track and field athletes. For the Goegels, the considerable academic and athletic accomplishments of the women’s 4x400 meter relay team exemplified all that is commendable about UNH athletics.

None of the Goegel children competed in track and field at UNH (Moira rowed crew for two years and skied on the Nordic team under Cory Schwartz ’84 for all four­‑), but both John and Kate follow the team closely and attend meets when they can. Self-described “transplanted New Yorkers” who now call 50 acres in central New Hampshire home, both Goegels are semi-retired. John continues to teach freshman honors algebra at Belmont High School and serves as assistant track coach; Kate owns Hackleboro Pottery in Canterbury, N.H, where she sells her Shaker-inspired quilts, braided wool rugs, and pottery.

The Goegels’ fund will support one male and one female track and field athlete from New Hampshire each year. Jacob McDougle ’12, a middle distance runner from Walpole, N.H., is the first male recipient of the scholarship.

Originally published by:

Cat Tracker, Athletics Development Office

Written by Kristin Duisberg, Editorial and Creative Services. Photos by Lisa Nugent, UNH Photographic Services.