Gary Goff enters his sixth year as Head Football Coach at Tiffin University.
The Dragons used the momentum from 2015 to propel them to their most successful season in the GLIAC. Tiffin finished 8-3 overall, the first winning season since 2007-08. The success on the field translated into notice off the field, as Coach Goff was named GLIAC Coach of the Year, the first in program history. In conference play, TU posted a 7-3 record, finishing 2nd in the GLIAC South and 4th overall. Tiffin suffered numerous injuries, particularly on the offensive line, yet the Dragons showed great depth surrendering 10 less sacks than the previous season. The run game was a strong asset for Tiffin gaining 2,217 yards, the most under Coach Goff. Scoring wasn't a problem for Tiffin, averaging 31.4 points per game, 6th best in the GLIAC. Coach Goff's ground game scored 20 touchdowns, counterbalancing the 25 passing touchdowns thrown by Antonio Pipkin. The pass game continued to be strong for TU, averaging 232.9 yards per game, 11.6 yards per catch, and 7.5 yards per pass. As a unit, Tiffin's offense committed only 11 turnovers, a new single season record for least turnovers committed.
If their was an award for most improved, the Tiffin University defense would be the recipient. Tiffin surrendered 22 points per game (4th in the GLIAC), six points less than the prior season. The group finished with the 2nd best pass defense in the GLIAC (186.8 y/g), and surrendered six less rushing touchdowns than 2015. Tiffin finished with 13 interceptions (3rd in the GLIAC), 20 total turnovers, and 24 sacks. On 3rd down, Tiffin allowed a 34% conversion rate, improving by 13% from the previous season.
Tiffin had a record number of All-GLIAC selections, registering 11 selections. Mason Butler, Willie Mays, Stefan Willis, Ridge Tarwacki, Jerry Brown, Morgan Loyd, Jacob Mertus, Shawn Scott, and DJ Edwards-Steward were all honorable mention selections. Charles Holland was a 1st team All-GLIAC selection, catching 77 passes for 1129 yards and 11 touchdowns. Holland finished the season ranked inside the NCAA top 25 in three receiving categories, and set a new GLIAC single game record for receptions with 20 vs. Northern Michigan (Nov. 12). Antonio Pipkin's career came to an end in 2016, but it wasn't without numerous accolades. Pipkin was a 1st team All-GLIAC selection, and was named GLIAC Player of the Year. Pipkin holds seven Tiffin University career records, and four GLIAC career records. In the NCAA Division II record book, Antonio is 13th all-time in career total offense, 19th in career total offense per game, 27th in career passing yards, and is only the 3rd quarterback at the Division II level to ever accumulate at least 2,000 yards rushing and throw for at least 10,000 yards. For his accomplishments on the field, Pipkin earned an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl.
Tiffin continued to trend in the right direction under the direction of Coach Goff in 2015, as TU boasted a program high nine All-GLIAC selections, including Antonio Pipkin's GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year selection. At the regional level, Pipkin, Charles Holland, and Tomislav Derezic all were selected to the Don Hansen Super Region 4 Team. Tiffin finished with an identical 5-6 overall and 4-6 GLIAC record from 2014, suffering three losses by seven points or fewer. The offense averaged 34.2 points per game in 2015, up 12 points from the year before, and the highest offensive output in Coach Goff's tenure. The Dragon defense showed great improvement as well, shutting out Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 12) 40-0, and allowing the 6th fewest total yards of offense per game in the GLIAC.
TU took a big step forward in 2014, posting a 5-6 overall record (4-6 in the GLIAC). The Dragons tied for third in the GLIAC South Division. Their 5 victories were the most since 2007, and the most GLIAC wins since TU joined the conference. TU continued to boast one of the top passing attacks in the conference, as TU finished with the fourth-highest passing yardage in the GLIAC. Quarterback Antonio Pipkin was second in completions and third in yards and completion percentage in the conference in 2014.
The Dragons took another step forward on the field in 2013, improving in nearly every offensive category while finishing near the top of the GLIAC in passing offense. In 2011 Goff started to implement the Air Raid offense, seeing immediate results as the team set a new single season completion percentage record (.692). The team also set new single game records for completions and touchdown passes along with receptions.
Goff came to the Dragons after a highly successful season at West Virginia Wesleyan. Goff, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Wesleyan, led the team from a 2-8 season in 2009 to a 9-2 mark in 2010, tying the most wins in school history in the process. The team was ranked nationally for the first time in school history while breaking 12 offensive school records.
Prior to West Virginia Wesleyan, Goff coached at Princeton University where he was the Pass Game Coordinator and Receivers Coach. He was also Co-Offensive Coordinator and Receivers Coach at New Mexico State University for four seasons where he helped lead the team to a ranking of 2nd nationally in passing offense and 3rd nationally in total offense. That team also broke 21 offensive school records while ranking 15th in the nation in scoring offense. Goff also coached the nation’s top receiver, two-time All-American Chris Williams, who later signed with the Cleveland Browns.
Goff, who has been offensive coordinator for three different teams, also served in that capacity at Iowa Wesleyan University. He also coached for two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana University, helping that squad to lead the nation in total offense.
Goff played for powerful NCAA Division II Valdosta State under Hal Mumme. Goff was a receiver/kick returner and was also team captain his senior year, leading the team to the Gulf South Conference Championship in 1996. That squad also earned an NCAA play-off berth and the nation’s top ranking during the regular season.
Goff, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Valdosta State and a Master’s degree from Tiffin University, is a native of Picayune, Mississippi. He and his wife Tiffanie have two children, Tyler and Audrey.