For Jen Goebbel, her new job fulfills a longtime dream.
Goebbel, 37, was approved as athletics director at Thomas Worthington High School by the school board June 26. She replaces Scott Dorne, who stepped down after four years to become executive director of facilities and operations for Westerville City Schools.
Dorne was the athletics director at Westerville South from 2009-13.
“I’m excited,” said Goebbel, who was a social studies teacher at Thomas the past two years. “I have had dreams of being an athletic administrator as long as I can remember, so when this opportunity presented itself, I just couldn’t pass up putting my name in the ring.”
A 1998 Thomas graduate, Goebbel, whose maiden name is Odebrecht, was the starting goalkeeper on the girls soccer team when it was Division I state runner-up in 1997. She went on to play, and later serve as an assistant coach, at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Goebbel also would serve as an assistant coach at Thomas before being named coach at Olentangy Orange for its inaugural season in 2008. She compiled a 65-39-7 record in six seasons at Orange and guided the Pioneers to a Division II district final in 2008 and a Division I district final in 2011 and ’12.
In 2013, Orange won the OCC-Capital Division title and Goebbel was named league Coach of the Year.
“Jen stood out to the committee for her dedication to all things Worthington, as well as her love of athletics,” Thomas principal Pete Scully said. “We’re looking forward to her enthusiasm for high quality interscholastic sports. She has a strong desire to help kids lead and grow, both on and off the field. Jen also expressed a strong emphasis on promoting a culture that attracts and retains student-athletes and coaches.”
Goebbel is looking forward to her next challenge as she seeks to continue the school’s strong athletic tradition.
“More than anything, growing up here, the sense of community in Worthington is pretty special,” said Goebbel, whose husband, Kyle, is the football coach at Westland. “It’s pretty awesome that I now have this opportunity. ... There’s tons of potential, but there’s also a pretty rich tradition of excellence of programs that are already there. It’s definitely a great school for student-athletes.”
The first order of business for Goebbel is to hire coaches for the boys lacrosse and boys volleyball programs.
Derek Lichtfuss stepped down as boys lacrosse coach after compiling an 11-28 record in two seasons with the Cardinals, and Scott Ebright retired after leading the boys volleyball program for 14 seasons.
Lichtfuss left to become coach at Columbus Academy.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Jen,” Dorne said. “She is a Thomas alum who has a passion for interscholastic athletics. We have met to discuss how to proceed with many things, but in the front line right now is filling the coaching vacancies.”