Funeral Set For Promising NFL Prospect, Son of Liberian Parents


Eric Goll’s life was cut short by an enlarged heart, shattering what could have been a promising career in American football.

Goll, 20, a sophomore at Chadron State College age 20, passed away last Thursday following team practice.

Goll, a native of Poinciana Fla., who graduated from Haines City High School, Florida, where he was a team captain, was transported from the practice field to Chadron Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 12:30pm.

Eric also volunteered at Weather Ford high school Texas where he spent his summer with his godparents, the Couch.

His still-grieving mother, Pinky Bemah Goll says the 20-year-old will be buried on Saturday August 27 viewing is set for the 26 in Florida in Weather Ford, Texas. “The University is setting up a memorial at the school so that his name lives on,” she says.

His mom says Eric always had a love for football.

“He started little league at age of four in Ewing Township, NJ. We then moved to Poinciana FL where he was approached by a former NFL lineman coach Al Bates, and asked him how old he was and told me to take him to the park because they were conducing tryouts on that day. I took him there and everyone loved him.

He also loved the Lord and was not ashamed of Christ.”

A Red Shirt freshman (the term indicates an academic sophomore-second-year student, who is in his first season of athletic eligibility); his mother recalls a young kid with an infectious, smile, deep Berry tone voice and light brown eyes.

His coaches named him bubba chop, beast, bull on the field and little giant off the field. He was a motivational speaker for high school students and incoming freshmen and also volunteered at soup kitchen. He was always a mentor to his friends.

CSC President Dr. Randy Rhine said after Goll’s death: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Goll’s family, teammates, and friends from the entire Chadron State College community. Eric was one of the happiest people I’ve ever met,” said head football coach Jay Long. “Our hearts are broken for Eric’s family. They have our condolences and our prayers.”

An autopsy was performed after the death at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, by forensic pathologist Dr. Pete Schilke determined Preliminary findings indicate that Mr. Goll, a defensive lineman for Chadron State College, had an enlarged heart which likely contributed to his sudden and unexpected death.

Goll had taken a year and half break prior to contacting CSC head coach Jay Long to ask for a second chance at football and had returned to Chadron just a couple of days prior to his death, according to NBC news report.

He spent a year-and-a-half at FAMU, a historically-black, land-grant university before returning to CSC.

Coach Long was quoted as describing Eric as funny, happy, outgoing, and had an ear-to-ear grin that was contagious.

“When we had talked to our team afterward, we had guys share stories about Eric and that was the first thing everybody talked about was his smile. It was literally a smile that went from ear-to-ear and he loved using it, he used it towards the guys, the girls, the teachers and the coaches. It was contagious and it lit up the room.”

Eric is survived by his dad, Eric K . Goll, Pinky. S. Bemah Goll, Erica Goll, Eldridge Goll and his guardians, Mr.  & Mrs. Danny Couch and lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and brothers.