During his lifetime Everett Stephen Gouldie has been honored as one of the state’s most successful high school coaches. His incredible coaching and teaching career spanned a total of 48 years, with 25 being served in Osborne County. Born March 19, 1914, Gouldie was reared on a small farm owned by his parents, Stephen and Jenny (Reed) Gouldie near Lebanon, two miles south of the Nebraska border. He starred in football and basketball at Lebanon High before graduating in 1932.
Following graduation Gouldie spent the summer completing Normal School courses. At the age of 18 he passed the tests for 15 subjects and began teaching country school in Smith County. Five years were spent at Fairview, Independence, and Barnes, before moving on to Bellaire and Lebanon.
In 1942 Gouldie volunteered for the Army Air Corps. While stationed at Lubbock, Texas, he refereed basketball games played by base servicemen. His skills soon caught the eye of Texas Tech University, which led to refereeing college games. In 1946 Gouldie was released from the service after serving as a statistical worker in California, Japan, and at the Pentagon annex in Washington, D.C.
Gouldie attended a semester at Fort Hays State College before resuming teaching and coaching at Lebanon in the fall of 1946. In 1950 Gouldie went to Alton. From that time until 1970, interrupted only by a three-year stint at Palco, he was the guiding force behind the Alton Wildcats football and basketball teams. The most notable record of his career happened there when from 1962 through 1968 the football team compiled a 51-game winning streak, for long the all-time Kansas state record.
Not only successful on the gridiron, Gouldie’s teams also excelled on the courts. During his 18-year reign, the Wildcats played in every district tournament, advancing 17 times to regionals. Three teams qualified for state tournament play, with the 1957 team placing third after losing in the semifinals to the tourney winner. Losses were posted in first-round action in 1965, after leading three quarters against the tourney winner, and again in 1969, when the game against the top-ranked team went into overtime.
Throughout the record years at Alton the school averaged a total enrollment of forty-two students. Equally proud of all his teams, Gouldie was quick to credit the success of the Wildcats to their enthusiasm, attitude, sportsmanship, and willingness to follow rules. He demonstrated by example, receiving only one technical foul in basketball and never being assessed for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the football field. Gouldie also loved to teach. His business students at Alton consistently placed at or near the top in league and state scholarship contests.
After 1970 Gouldie coached and taught at Natoma, Osborne, and Eastern Heights High School at Agra. In 1976 his Class 2A Osborne basketball team placed second in the state, first defeating the top-ranked team but then losing to the second-ranked team in the title game. At Agra Gouldie simultaneously coached junior and senior high school football, basketball, and track. Again the records accumulated, and as usual, the school was the smallest in its league. Many years ago coaches in the north-central part of Kansas learned first-hand what a Gouldie-coached team could do to them. His amazing career added up to 154 seasons of sports and 2,030 games. An assistant coach was available for only one semester.
Gouldie was so preoccupied with coaching during the early years that he didn’t marry until the age of thirty-eight. Ruth Bradley, from the Lebanon-Esbon community, became his wife on August 21, 1952. Their three children are Susan, Steve, and Connie.
Everett Gouldie retired at the age of sixty-nine in 1983. In 1987 he was named by his peers to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and in 1994 he was presented the “Ad Lindsey Contribution to Amateur Football Award” by the Jayhawk Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Everett passed away in November 1998.