COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Mike Golden has been coaching high school football in central Ohio for nearly 30 seasons.
After taking a year off from coaching to focus on his health, Golden returns to the sidelines this season as the head coach at Bexley High School.
Golden coached the Watterson Eagles to a Division III State Title in 2002, he owns more than 200 wins in his career, and he was inducted into the Central District High School Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
After surviving a life-threatening case of throat and lung cancer, Golden now feels healthy and strong as he aims to build a winning football program at Bexley.
“You know, you do miss it, you miss the kids so much, you miss being around all that enthusiasm and all that energy,” said Golden.
And for that reason, he decided to return to coaching after a year hiatus.
“For a while, you know, afterward, you’re anxious and tense because you go get scanned every few months, and I still do, but I’ve gotten to a point where I really feel good,” Golden said with a smile.
The Lions finished with a 1-9 overall record last season, so Golden is eager to instill his winning mindset into the program.
“It’s the kids, we just have to convince them if you work hard, good things will happen,” said Golden.
“He brings in a positive mindset that we’re just gonna focus on every time we go out there we got to do our best, show our best and win everything that we can,” said senior Carter Brenner.
Golden coached his two stepsons at New Albany and Upper Arlington, and now the former accomplished high school players join their stepdad as assistant coaches at Bexley.
“Again, they bring a feeling of success, an atmosphere of success, with them every day,” said Golden.
“We were there when, you know, he had his health issues, saw him go through a lot of tough stuff, so it’s awesome to be back out here on the field with him coaching, both doing what we both love to do,” said Golden’s stepson, Anthony Campbell.
His stepson Jackson Finfrock added, “Very scary, but very blessed that he’s still in our lives. He’s so stubborn, there’s no way he’s not going out without a fight.”
Football means so much more than a game to Golden, his staff, and players.
“Just the absolute comradery, brotherhood, it’s something you share the rest of your life,” said Golden.