What's up everyone? I'm trying to start a new series on Hammer and Rails called "Where Are They Now?". I reached out to Jon Goldsberry on twitter because we have a few shared contacts, and he was gracious enough to help me out with my first "Where Are They Now?" Purdue article.
Jon Goldsberry is and instate product that came to Purdue from Southern Indiana power Heritage Hills High School. Goldsberry was a dominant athlete for The Patriots. On the football field he was a destroyer. He was unstoppable with the ball in his hands his senior year (1999), and helped lead Heritage Hills (along with Jay Cutler) to back to back conference championships. He spent his football offseason being a dominant wrestler, finishing second in state at 215 his senior year. Goldsberry came to Purdue as an "athlete" with an opportunity to play linebacker and fullback. Unfortunately, in true Purdue fashion, Jon tore up his knee as a freshman and had to spend his freshman year redshirting and rehabbing. He played his dual role of reserve linebacker/special teams ace/short yardage fullback in his first three seasons, before dropping his linebacker gig and focusing on special teams and fullback as a senior. Essentially, Jon was a human bulldozer for Purdue, and if you were unfortunate enough to get in his way, you found yourself staring out of your ear hole and reassessing your choice to play football. After his Purdue career, Goldsberry spent time on the Bills, Bucs, and Bears rosters before hanging up the cleats. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce everyone to Mr. Jon Goldsberry.
Hi, Jon thanks for helping me out with this project. What are you up to these days?
I've recently taken a role in sales & marketing with Mulzer Crushed Stone in Southern Indiana. I've been there since November of 2014 and it's been a bit of a career change from my previous Digital Marketing role, but I have really enjoyed being able to get away from the desk and out of the office more often to interact with more people in our area. I've learned a lot about the construction industry in the past year and a half and have met some really good people. Most of all, I enjoy the job and it's daily activities. Outside of work, I'm involved with coaching several youth sports and try to spend as much time as possible with my wife Rachael and my kiddos (Jett - 8 & Gianna - 4). Camping, fishing, boating, family trips, etc...we try to do as much as we can around the kid's crazy extra curricular schedule.
Purdue is known for providing a top notch education. What degree did you finish up with?
I graduated with a degree in Computer Graphics Technology, a minor in Computer Programming Technology and a minor in Organizational Leadership & Supervision.
You rushed for over 1000 yards as a running back your senior year at Heritage Hills and averaged over 8 yards carry, but spent your time at Purdue playing linebacker, special teams, and fullback. Was it hard to transition from being "the man", to being an important role player, often times giving up your body so other running backs could get the glory?
It was definitely an eye opener for me and the severe knee injury I suffered just a few weeks into my Freshman season at Purdue didn't help matters at all. However, with that said, it was a huge turning point in my life and career. The miserable knee injury and the humbling experience that is big time college football, were two things that really helped me mature, strive and compete to be the best at everything I did. My mentality had to change, my approach to the game had to change, my schedule had to change...everything had to change and it wasn't easy. I made a promise to myself that I was going to play in the NFL at an early age, and I wasn't going to let a tough trail keep me from that goal...it was tough to say the least. I learned a very valuable lesson about the sport of football throughout those first couple years at Purdue...you can tell yourself that you're going to play a certain position on the field and limit yourself or you can tell yourself you're going to be a football player and leave your options open. College and NFL coaches love versatility and it ended up paying off for me in the long run.
You played linebacker and fullback at Purdue. Is there any block or hit that really stands out above the others, and what makes a truly memorable block/hit?
I've had the opportunity to block and tackle guys of all sizes, speeds, and strengths and it all really boils down to athleticism. You have to know how to hit and how to be hit. There were some really big guys out there that didn't know how to hit or simply were afraid to hit...and there are also little guys on the field that are super fast and fearless. Hitting became a strength of mine once I recovered from my knee injury...it was part of the mentality change that I had to make. I knew I was no longer going to be the best athlete on the field, but I also knew I wasn't going to lose. I decided that everyone on the field was going to know who #44 was before the game was over with and they weren't going to want to play football with me anymore...it was pretty simple!
You played in 4 bowl games in your 4 years as a Boilermaker (Sun Bowl, Sun Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Sun Bowl. Which one was your favorite, and what was the coolest piece of Bowl Swag you picked up?
The bowl gifts were never really that great in my opinion, but they weren't real important to me either; the win and a bowl ring is what I was looking for. With that said, I can't say enough about the experience at the Sun Bowl games. The people were great and the food was great for all three trips. Obviously, I enjoyed winning the Sun Bowl in 2002 the most.
Do you have a Joe Tiller story you would like to share?
Joe was a great coach and an interesting guy. He was always looking for that button to push that would really fire you up and push you to your potential. There are a lot of guys I played with that didn't like him and to each their own, but in my mind, Joe was a great coach and his record speaks for itself. I actually spoke with Joe last week over the phone and hope to take a family trip to visit him in Wyoming in the near future. My favorite Tiller quote that I continue to share with my kids and my youth athletes: "Do what you're supposed to do, when it is supposed to be done, do it the right way, and do it that way every time. Only good things can happen!" That has always stuck with me and holds a lot of truth in everyday life. Also, speaking of the Sun Bowl (held in El Paso, TX), Joe Tiller would play "El Paso" by Marty Robbins on repeat during team stretch before every single bowl practice leading up to the bowl game...all 3 Sun Bowl years...all 14-15 bowl practices! ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬"Down in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a mexican girl...." ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ Google it, Play it (repeatedly; very loud) and enjoy?!?!
Thinking back on your days at Purdue, what was the most satisfying victory you were a part of, and what was the most stinging defeat?
My senior year (2004) we were 5-0, ranked #5 in the nation, Kyle Orton was starting to become a Heisman Hopeful and we were looking great. Then , #10 Wisconsin came into Ross-Ade and snuck out with a win. People like to blame Orton for fumbling the ball, but anyone with common football sense knows that it's part of the game and he DID NOT lose that game. WE lost. And then we lost 3 more games following that game (Michigan , Northwestern, and Iowa). So the worst game in my mind is the beginning of the 2004 drought. Luckily, we were able to pull things together to beat a good Ohio State team and also put an end to the drought. That win vs Ohio State was probably one of the best feelings ever. After a miserable 4 game losing streak, we were able to dig deep and fight our way back into the win column and in turn kept bowl game hopes alive as well. The pressure was on and we found a way to bring home a victory; it was a gutsy performance by all.
Purdue football has been in a funk recently, what do you think the players can do to help pull Purdue out of this football tailspin?
The culture has to change immediately in the locker room, in the meeting room, in the classroom, in the weight room, in the coaching offices, in the training room...everywhere. The culture has to change. When I was at Purdue, we had a competitive culture and a mindset that we weren't going to let anyone beat us and if they did beat us, we were going down swinging. We weren't going to settle for less simply because we weren't always the favorite to win or the 5-star recruit that every college wanted. It's an everyday culture/mindset that I can't really explain, but it doesn't currently exist and the record shows it. it's frustrating, but I'm optimistic and know their are some bright spots that can become contagious and I have hope that we will get better soon. All us former players can do is support, support, support. We were college kids that needed a chance back in 2000 and the Boilermaker Alumni didn't give up on us!
Do you have any advice for incoming Purdue football players?
Work harder than everyone else...it really is that simple.
Do you get back to Ross Ade for any games?
I go up for the Spring Game every year and try to make at least one game in the Fall as well. With kids and coaching, Rachael and I stay very busy, so we don't make it back as often as we would like to.
What is your prediction for the upcoming season?
I don't like to predict...it doesn't do anyone any good. I will say that it can't get any worse, so things are looking good! :)
Your High School, Heritage Hills, is well known for producing football talent, Ken Dilger, Jade Winchell, Jay Cutler, you, etc... the list is a long and impressive. What about Heritage Hills allowed a relatively small school to produce so many good football players?
Don't forget former Boilermaker and NFL Fullback Bruce King, and also Indiana Hoosier and CFL Safety Chris Sigler who happens to be a long time assistant coach at Heritage Hills. I think one word sums it up...Consistency. Former Head Coach Bob Clayton came to HH in the mid 1970's and went on to win 320 games in 34 seasons with only 74 losses. During that time he built a great staff that included a few guys that still coach today. More importantly, Bob Clayton created a winning culture; He created Patriot Pride; He found a way to pull the best out of very average kids, which led to them becoming great football players and even better people. Since his retirement, Heritage Hills has been very fortunate to have Todd Wilkerson to fill his shoes. Todd has already taken the Patriots to the Semi-State game in 2014 and although his approach and mentality are quite different from that of Bob Clayton, Todd continues to produce good players and successful teams. I can't leave out our community either...we love our football and when you have the support we have year in and year out, you want to win for them!
Speaking of Heritage Hills and Santa Claus Indiana, I've spent a good bit of time there. In fact, I remember when Holiday World and Santa Claus Land and the biggest attraction was The Banshee. What was it like living so close to an amusement park?
The Banshee! #Classic Someone needs to call up HW Corporate and bring the Banshee back! Holiday World's front gate is literally about one mile form my doorstep and my kids love it. We visit several times throughout the year and it is a great asset to our community.
You host a football skills camp. Here is your chance to get a free plug. Tell me a little about your camp.
As a former athlete from the tri-state area, I have had tremendous opportunities to learn from great coaches, teachers and parents that led me to an opportunity to play football for Purdue University and also in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I was fortunate to have these opportunities and fully understand that I never could have made it without the community's support, role models and summer camps. Summer camps provide insight, fun and most of all, motivation to improve!
With that said, several former teammates of mine (http://jongoldsberry.com/category/speakers/) have joined me to bring a great experience for Grades 7-12 and Grades K-6 to Southern Indiana for all the local football players.
I would greatly appreciate any opportunity to advertise the camp through your media outlets so that all coaches and players are aware.
All proceeds (if any) will benefit select participating players and/or football programs through scholarships and donations.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Registration is now open for our 2016 camps!
Two Camps. Two Days. All Ages!
Register now at: www.sifbcamp.com
Friday, June 24
Football & Life Skills Camp
Grades: 7-12 (Entering Fall 2016)
(Team Discounts for 10+ players; Max up to $30 off per player)
Saturday, June 25
Indianapolis Colts NFL Play60 Day
(Sibling Discount $10 for families with multiple children attending)
With the help of a few large sponsors this year we have been able to highly reduce the cost of our camps and hope to continue doing so as we grow. Keep in mind that no one makes a profit off of this camp and all proceeds (if any) will be donated to select participating schools based on attendance and the needs of their program. It is our goal each year to bring our local athletes a great experience at the most affordable rate.
Getting old is the terrible (better than the alternative I suppose, but still terrible), I pulled my groin playing kickball last season and hobbled around for 2 months. What do you miss the most about not being old?
You're old? That must really suck.
TheLegends reply: Yes it does... sucks hard
What's your favorite rock/mineral?
How's the golf game these day?
I've got way to much weight room in my golf swing...super stiff, lots of power, and sometimes good enough for a long drive. I actually won the longest drive in a scramble last week. All in all though...I love playing golf and wish I could more often, but if I were good at it, we wouldn't be talking about my washed up football career! LOL
I would like to thank Jon for spending his time helping me out on my new project. I've written several of these for ShakintheSouthland (Clemson's Sb Nation site) and they have all been well received. I've got a slight problem though. I personally know several former Clemson football players, and I know people that know former Clemson football players...I have 0 Purdue contacts, so I'm going to need your help. If you are a former player, or you know a former player that might be interested in helping me out with this project, let me know in the message section of the article, on twitter (DrewSchneider@drewtigeralum) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.