Born in New Westminster in 1946, Rich was raised in the French speaking neighborhood of Maillardville in East Coquitlam. The municipality was so small back then that both the Municipal Hall and Police Department were 2 blocks from home.
Rich attended Our Lady of Lourdes School from grade 1-10.
Then for grade 11 and 12 to a new high school in Burnaby called St. Thomas More (STM). Rich graduated as Head of the Class in the first ever STM Graduating class of 1964.
Rich then went to UBC were he gained his Bachelor of Arts and then to SFU for his teaching certificate.
Rich spent 10 years as a teacher at STM and 38 years as a teacher at Pitt Meadows Secondary School (PMSS).
Rich started playing competitive basketball in grade 11 at STM. And at the same time, he was part of the new Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse Program in 1962.
After High School, Rich played hoops for CYO teams of the day, and then men’s leagues for the next 15 years.
In 1966, Rich made the first every Junior Adanac Lacrosse Team and played for 3 years. He then went on to coach lacrosse and basketball until he played a ½ year with the Coquitlam Senior Adanacs when he was called back to coach the Junior Adanac Lacrosse team.
In 1965, Rich went back to his elementary school in Maillardville and founded the school’s first ever basketball and volleyball program for boys and girls.
In 1968, he was asked to coach the junior boys team at STM (where their new gym was just built). A year later, he was offered a teaching job at STM and continued coaching their junior team.
In 1970, he inherited the boys basketball program as all the other coaches departed STM. Rich coached the grade 9, junior and senior teams for the next 9 years.
In 1979, Rich moved to Pitt Meadows to build a basketball program for the school. In that time Rich often coached grade 8, 9 and junior teams as well as his senior team for 39 years.
In 1968, Rich coached a bantam lacrosse team in Coquitlam but part way through the year he was also asked to coach the Port Coquitlam junior team. Two years later he organized the first ever Coquitlam intermediate team and won the first ever Intermediate BC Championship. One year later he was asked to coach the Coquitlam Junior Adanac Club after their coach became ill. Rich coached this high-level team for 5 years. Rich took a year off from coaching lacrosse but was asked to coach the Junior Salmonbellies of New Westminster. He leads this team to 2nd place in the Canadian Championships. Rich was immediately hired back as the coach of the Junior Adanacs which he did for 5 more years. With the beginning of basketball provincial teams in 1983 Rich went back to focus on the game he loves.
BASKETBALL BC Years
In 1984, Rich was asked to coach the first Basketball U 16 team and repeated in 1985.
In 1986, he was named the Coach of the U17 provincial Team for the huge EXPO 86 tournament held at SFU. Rich’s team highlighted the development of JD Jackson (UBC-Hall of Fame BC) as the team finished 2nd losing by a slim margin to the famous Watt’s Magicians of LA.
In 1987 and 1988, he coached the U17 BC teams which featured Ron Putzi (BC High School MVP – star at Richmond and New Mexico University) and his own star Derek Welsh (MVP 1989 Pitt Meadows and SFU).
In the summer of 1991 Rich was asked to take over the U17 team and he did so for 2 years coaching Steve Nash (BC High School MVP 1982) and his brother Marty Nash.
From 1993 to 1999, Rich was elected to the Board of Basketball BC, where he assumed the role of Elite Program Director including 2 years as Vice-President. As a member of the Board, Rich was not permitted to coach Provincial Teams, but he did coach 2 years at the Summer Games team (U16), winning the Summer Games Championship in 1998.
After finishing with the Board, Rich was asked to create a pilot provincial team for U13 boys in 2001.
Rich then coached the U17 team again in 2002 and 2003. In 1994 and 1995, he became the Assistant Coach of the Provincial Team under Scott Allen. The team featured stars like Tyler Kepkay and Rob Sacre (NBA – drafted by Los Angeles Lakers).
In 2008 and 2009, Rich coached the U15 team which went on to win the Western Canada Summer Games in Edmonton.
In 2014 and 2015, Rich returned for his final stint as U17 coach, bringing Basketball BC back into prominence at the national level. The two Canadian all-stars in 2015 were Keenan Dowell and James Karnick (Lehigh University).
Rich has won the Western Canadian Championship for BC 3 times.
Rich also coached U14 and U15 regional Fraser Valley basketball teams numerous times as well as hosting the U15 Jamboree for many years.
Center of Performance – Rich has worked at the Center of Performance for Basketball Canada and Basketball BC. Rich eventually spent 2 – 3-year stints as Head Coach and Coordinator of the Center of Performance.C
Rich has organized camps for St. Thomas More and Pitt Meadows Secondary School including the very successful Senior Team and Junior Team Camps and Shooter Camps of the late 80’s to 2004.
He also ran SUPERCAMPS For Basketball BC’s top 17 and 15 year old players as well as the BC School Sports Provincial Camp for 5 summers.
1970 – BC Intermediate Lacrosse Championships. (on the way to a playoff game in Saanich, the ferry the team was travelling on got rammed by a Russian Freighter as it was coming out of Active pass. The players survived this calamity and went on to win the BC Championships).
5 BC Championship appearances while at St. Thomas More
1973 – A Tier – Finished 3rd
1974 – AA Tier at the Coliseum – Finished 4th
1975 – A Tier – BC Champion
1976 – A Tier – BC Champions
1978 – AA Lower Mainland Championship, Finished 4th in BC at the Agridome/Coliseum
18 BC Championship appearances while at Pitt Meadows
1982 – Finished 4th
1983 – BC Champions
1984 and 1985 – Participant
1986 – Finished 2nd
1997 – Finished 5th
AA Division/AAA Division/AAAA Division
1989 – BC Champions
1991 – Finished 7th
1992- FV AA Champions and Finished 2nd in BC to Steve Nash’s SMU Team1991 – Finished 7th
1994 – Finished 8th
2000 – BC Champions
2004 – Finished 2nd
2005-2014 –/10 Appearances at the Agrodome and LEC. Finishing between 4th and 8th
2012 – FV Champions and Finished 4th in BC
The above 2 images of pic and text reprinted from Howard Tsmura’s Varsity Letters.
2020 ALL-TIME BC HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT BRACKET
4 FV Championships
10 Junior Championships
4 FV Championships
Finished 2nd – 4 times
Grade 9 Boys
8 Provincial Appearances
Grade 8 Boys
1 appearance 2001 – 1st ever BC Championship for Grade 8 Boys
Grade 7 Boys
2000 – Grade 7 BC Club Championship
Founded and grew 3 programs;
– Our Lady of Lourdes, 1965
– St Thomas More, 1971
– Pitt Meadows, 1979
Grew the CHANCELLOR TOURNEY at STM into a top class tourney with 16 teams, team banquet (free) for all teams including billeting for all traveling teams.
Created Ramatazz Basketball at STM.
Founded the BC Senior Hoop Classic – Boys All-Star game in 1976-2016. The game was delivered for several years during that time by Basketball BC and is now delivered by BCHSBBA.
Founded and grew the PITT MEADOW AIR SHOW Tournament.
Founded the Pitt Meadows Little Dribbler Program in 1979 which became the Junior Grizzlies Program then became today’s Steve Nash Program.
Founded the Fraser Valley Basketball Commission which then brought the girls divisions into the Commission. This was the foundation of the Commission system approved at the Fraser Valley level in future years.
Founded the largest Team Camp – the Pitt Meadows Team Camp which endured for 25 years. At its height, the Camp had 45 Senior Teams one week and 25 Junior Teams the next.
Founded the Soccer and Football Programs at PMSS.
Mentored with the formation of the BC Grade 9 Boys Provincial Basketball Championships that began in 1997.
Founded the Grade 8 BC Championships for Boys in 2001, added the Grade 8 Girls BC Championships in 2004. Has run the tournament for 17 years and oversees it today.
Raised over $300,000 at STM. Ran one of the first BC Lottery Distributorships.
In 1976, turned over $25,000 to STM and in 1977 over $50,000. This was above paying for the STM program. He then turned the distributorship over to the school, (interesting note that this $75,000 represented more than Rich’s salary at STM for 10 years).
Raised over 1.5 million dollars in 39 years at Pitt Meadows Secondary School for the Program and for the users (players and parents). His teams did phone book delivery for 25 years, ran Camps and Team Camps for 25 years. Became BC’s largest distributor for Regal products for 10 years. And also had chicken sales, pie sales, ran bingos, and cookie sales as well as sold thousands of dollars in ads for the Pitt Meadows Marauder Yearbook and Tournament programs. The concession and gate at Pitt Meadows added $10,000 to $15,00 a year to pay Referees, Minor Officials and school teams” season expenses. The Grade 8 BC Tourney has raised over $300,000 in 17 years.
From the outset, Rich has believed in paying it back to all the people who helped him along the way by mentoring and helping all of those coaches who wanted to become successful in team building, fundraising and scheduling. After leaving Pitt Meadows in 2017, Rich has mentored Heritage Woods Juniors, Burnaby Mountain Juniors and the BC Christian Prep School basketball Programs.
Throughout the years it was not unusual for Rich to have coaches attend his practices, learning and seeking his guidance.
Rich would always be the coordinator for his league – from the Independent League in the Lower Mainland, to the A league in the Fraser Valley to the Fraser Valley North Senior Boys League.
1985- Pitt Meadows Athletic Association – President’s Award
(an award created especially to recognize Rich and his work at PMSS as he was not a member of the Pitt Meadows Community)
1986 – Basketball BC Coaching Award of Excellence
1996 – Haney Rotary Sports Person of the Year
1999 – Basketball BC Special Merit Award for Service to BB BC
2008 – Act Now Certificate of Recognition signed by the Premier
2008 – Inducted into the St. Thomas More Collegiate Hall of Fame
2009 – Maple Ridge Athletic Association Sports Hero Award
2012 – Inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame
2012 – 1st ever Recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Volunteering
2018 – 1st Recipient of the Basketball Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded by the Community of BC Basketball Coaches and sponsored by the BC Grade 9 Boys Provincial Basketball Championships
And Media Links to some of the many articles about Rich;
May 2016 – STM The Rich Goulet “Unsung Hero” Award