Goldfarb’s Gutsy Moves Creates Prep Sports Dynasties
By SpaceCoastDaily.com Sports // May 18, 2013
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
CHUCK GOLDFARB – 2012 INDUCTEE
COACH OF THE YEAR
Chuck Goldfarb likes to take a well-planned chance, and those gutsy moves as Merritt Island High School’s baseball coach helped the Mustangs win consecutive Class 5A state baseball titles in 1999 and 2000.
During his years as a high school baseball coach in Brevard County, Goldfarb’s teams won seven district championships and six Cape Coast Conference championships. After the 1999 season, Goldfarb won the Florida Diamond Club’s Distinguished Service to Baseball Award – and he was named the 2000 State Coach of the Year.
In 1999, Merritt Island defeated Venice 6-4 in the Class 5A state final at Legends Field in Tampa.
“Against Land O’Lakes (in the semis), I felt we were beat,’’ Goldfarb said.
“We put on a squeeze to try to tie it when we were down 3-2. Our kid popped it up, but their pitcher slipped. I have said that it’s better to be more lucky than good. That was our break.’’
Power-hitting Tommy Parrott led the Mustangs that season.
“Tommy Parrott had the most awesome high school season I have ever seen,’’ Goldfarb said.
“He hit 22 home runs and had 75 RBI in just 34 games. That was such an incredible feat, and he broke the state record for home runs. Someone broke that record a few years later.’’
In 2000, Merritt Island blanked Lake Howell 7-0 in the region quarterfinals, trounced Lakeland George Jenkins 11-2 in the region semifinals and beat Durant 3-1 in the region finals.
In the state semifinals at Legends Fields, the Mustangs outlasted Gonzalez Tate 6-4 in 10 innings. Merritt Island then edged Sarasota 6-5 to win the Class 5A state title.
“Gonzalez Tate and Sarasota, at that time, had eight state titles between them,’’ Goldfarb said.
“In that 10-inning game, we used up all of our pitchers. We won the final on a suicide squeeze. It was make or break to be the hero or the goat. I always go for it in everything I’ve done. That 2000 team was the culmination of a good senior class. Kevin Deaton and Justin Barnes were just awesome for us.’’
GOLDFARB ‘MAGIC’ PROPELS COCOA ATHLETICS
In the fall of 2001, Cocoa High School was looking to improve their athletic program and brought in Goldfarb to work his magic with Cocoa’s traditional stable of excellent athletes.
Goldfarb, always an excellent judge of both athletic and coaching talent, began bringing in top coaches like Gerald Odom, and mentoring up-and-comers like John Wilkinson.
“Johnny (Wilkinson) was our batboy in 1976 at Merritt Island,’’ said Goldfarb, who was born in Brooklyn and moved to Merritt Island with his family as a child.
“When Gerald told me he was going to retire, John was the No. 1 guy on my radar.’’
Goldfarb’s skills as an astute administrator and “horse-trader” made it possible for Cocoa High to go from having some of the worst athletic facilities in the county, to some of the best in just a few years.
This undoubtedly illustrated to both his coaches and athletes his commitment to excellence both on and off the field.
He hired his old friend, and Brevard coaching legend, Gerald Odom, to coach the Tiger football team and, when Odom decided to retire after three successful seasons, Goldfarb handed the reins to a well prepared Wilkinson.
The Tigers, under the leadership of Wilkinson won three consecutive state titles and have become nationally known. Goldfarb himself was the Tigers’ baseball coach for three years before passing the torch to his home-grown younger coaches.
Goldfarb and Cocoa High didn’t have to tamper with the boys basketball program. Under their outstanding coach, James Rowe, the Tigers won the Class 4A state title during the 2008-2009 school year for a rare football-basketball state championship double.
Goldfarb, who received an associate’s degree from Middle Georgia in 1969 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida in 1981, was the baseball coach at Merritt Island High from 1975 to 1979.
He then returned as the school’s baseball coach from 1995 to 2001. He also helped start the baseball program at West Florida, serving as the school’s first baseball coach during the 1981 season.
Goldfarb, 64, is married to Marybeth Goldfarb. They have four children including Corey, Jamie, Casey and Michelle.
THE 2021 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 7 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.
FOR INFORMATION & TICKETS to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction dinner call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com