Former Blacksburg High School baseball player Ethan Goforth has been appointed an assistant coach in the Florida Complex League for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Goforth has been assigned to Team Gold, which is one of two Pirate league teams, where he will be working mainly with catchers.
“I was recently released by the Pirates as a player, and I was given two options;” said Goforth, “to find another place to play, or stay on as a coach.
“Coaching has been a dream of mine since before I went to college, and it is a great opportunity to start my coaching career in an organization that I believe in. My assignment is in the Florida Complex League as an assistant coach, working primarily with catchers,” the former Blacksburg High Bruin said.
A catcher, Goforth played in the Appalachian League with the Bristol Pirates before returning to spring training in 2020 when COVID shut down the minor leagues. He was invited back to spring training in 2021 and was assigned to play in Low A for the Bradenton Marauders. He finished his minor league career with a .225 batting average, two home runs, three doubles, and three stolen bases in 26 games.
This followed an outstanding career at Carson-Newman College.
While at Blacksburg, Goforth hit .437 and was a two-time team most valuable player and first-team All-River Ridge District as a catcher.
In his final season at Carson Newman, Goforth was named second-team All-Southeast Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He put together one of the best years in recent memory with a .376 batting average, 11 homers, 42 RBIs, 70 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Those numbers put him in the top 10 in average, homers, and runs scored, where he led the country during the regular season. His 70 runs scored was good for third on the school’s all-time runs scored list.
He led all conference catchers by a wide margin with 32 assists on the year, committing only five errors in 420 chances for a .988 fielding percentage. He also threw out 16 of the 38 runners attempting to steal, a 42-percent rate that led the league among players with at least a dozen attempts against them
Goforth believes he brings a lot of energy and passion for the game of baseball to the coaching position.
“I was fortunate enough to be around some great coaches growing up in the Virginia Tech athletic department with Coach Beamer, Coach Foster, and Coach Pete Hughes, just to name a few,” he said. “I also played under three great coaches at Blacksburg High School in Coach Danny Shouse, Coach Dave Crist, and Coach Jason Waelti in baseball, football, and wrestling respectively. I will try to take all of the valuable lessons that these men passed down to me and apply them to my career.”
He said he never thought that he would get the opportunity to coach at this level.
“I am extremely grateful to the Pirates for giving it to me,” Goforth said. “Coaching gives me a chance to stay in the game that I love so dearly and impact lives on and off the field along the way. This opportunity will be a great experience to be around numerous cultures and great coaches that will allow me to continue to learn every step of the way.”