ADRIAN, Mich. – Siena Heights University announced that Thomas Goodman has been hired as its new eSports coach and director. He will begin his new position Aug. 20.
"We are pleased to have Thomas start the eSports program at Siena Heights this fall," said SHU Athletic Director Fred Smith. "He has extensive gaming experience, and also has experience coaching college athletes. We believe we have someone who can grow and develop this emerging sport here at Siena Heights."
Goodman, who served as an assistant and then interim head men's soccer coach at Siena Heights last fall, is an avid gamer. He was runner-up in Tetris at the 1990 Nintendo World Championships, and also took part in several Nintendo PowerFest events.
"I've been playing video games since my uncle gave me my first Commodore 64 in the mid-80s," Goodman said. "I am so grateful for the opportunity Fred Smith is giving me in leading this new eSports program going forward."
A former professional soccer player and Olympic-caliber mountain biker, Goodman also continued to be active in the competitive gaming world. He competed in several Counter Strike competitions and earned a top 100 ranking. From 2005-08, he competed in several eSport tournaments such as the World Cyber Games and made it to the top 10 list in several games. He was also a beta tester for several games while working in computer programming and design positions. Goodman is excited to bring his experience to Siena Heights.
"I want to create a culture of fun, while still competing at the highest level," he said.
The University has invested approximately $200,000 in technology, facility upgrades, and personnel to begin the program in fall 2018. eSports is a scholarship sport. Siena Heights is the first Michigan college or university to have joined the National Association of College eSports (NACE).
Goodman earned his bachelor's degree in education foundations from the University of Oregon and master's degree in recreation and sport pedagogy with a focus in soccer coaching from Ohio University. He is currently working towards his doctorate in higher education and leadership at Concordia University.
Goodman, his wife, Amber, and their two children, Amsel and Lenicka, reside in Adrian, Mich.
For more information about eSports at Siena Heights University, please call 517-264-7180. More details can also be found at go.sienaheights.edu/esports or at shusaints.com.
~Article written by Dough Goodnough, Siena Heights Director of Marketing