CEDAR RAPIDS — Since she was a seventh-grader at Harding Middle School, Michelle Goodall has had a volleyball-based identity.
“I’ve never had another job in my life,” she said.
This was going to be a year of triumph, in which Goodall helped lead the Team USA women’s sitting volleyball team to a medal at the Paralympics in Tokyo. The COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold for a year.
Here’s a not-too-small bit of consolation, though: Goodall has been selected to the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame, as a “leader in volleyball.”
“Isn’t that crazy?” she said Monday. “I’m honored, floored, humbled and grateful. This is something that my mentors earn.”
A 1985 graduate of Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Goodall spent 20 seasons as head coach at her alma mater, compiling a 477-273 record.
She led the Cougars to six state-tournament appearances, including four straight semifinal berths between 2008 and 2011, then stepped down following the 2018 season to begin her pursuit with Team USA.
“I miss Kennedy, absolutely,” she said. “I miss the administration, I miss the kids, I miss the staff.
“I love the Team USA staff, but we’re not together on a day-to-day basis.”
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Goodall has been working with the team in Edmond, Okla., until the coronavirus hit the United States in March, and has been back in Cedar Rapids since. The team had a virtual camp Saturday, and Goodall is monitoring the team via video for now.
There will be no competition in 2020. The Americans will play in the World Cup in early 2021 in China, and the Paralympics are rescheduled for next year in Tokyo.
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