Brooklyn Boro

Barry Goldsmith’s road to success

June 24, 2024 Andy Furman
Barry Goldsmith, tennis, basketball and baseball coach at both the high school and college levels. Photo courtesy of Andy Furman
Share this:

Even a teacher needs a teacher. And Barry Goldsmith is quick to credit those who made him successful.

How successful was Goldsmith, you ask?

In his 33 years as tennis coach at Kingsborough Community College, he won the prestigious National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Championships — coaching the men in 1998 and coaching the women in 2009.

His teams also finished as finalists in 1997 (men) and 2010 (women). Fifty-five of his players earned All-American honors, and 18 players were either individual or doubles NJCAA first-place finishers.

You want more?

He was honored not once, but twice as NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year (1998 and 2009).

We almost forgot: His Midwood High School boys’ tennis team won the New York City PSAL title in 1971 and again in 1974.

But when you talk to Barry Goldsmith, he is quick to praise those people who were his mentors.

And topping that list, he says, is Bernard (Red) Sarachek, the former basketball coach and athletic director at Yeshiva University (1940-1969).

“Red was also a mentor to coaches Red Holzman (New York Knicks) and Lou Carnesecca (St. John’s),” Goldsmith told the Eagle.

Barry Goldsmith also coached the girls’ basketball team at South Shore High School to the PSAL championship in Madison Square Garden in 1989 with a 26-2 record.

“It was Red,” Goldsmith said, “who developed the triangle-and-two basketball offense and the motion offense which was later used by Holzman and the Knicks.

“In fact,” Goldsmith continued, “Phil Jackson took that offense to Chicago with Michael Jourdan and the Bulls. The credit goes to Jackson’s assistant coach, Tex Winter,” Goldsmith continued, “But it was Red Sarachek who developed it.”

Goldsmith is on a crusade to get Sarachek into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. “I’ve asked Lou (Carnesecca) for help, and he’s writing a letter in Red’s behalf.”

Red has already been honored in the Yeshiva University Hall of Fame (2017), the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1978), the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame and the New York City Hall of Fame.

“But there’s another facet to Red,” Goldsmith said. “He is the Branch Rickey of basketball. He was the very first, when in 1949 as coach of the Eastern League champion Scranton Miners he played ‘Pop” Gates, ‘Dolly’ King and Eddie Younger — three African American stars — on the court at the same time.”

Tony Russo is next on Goldsmith’s credit list. “He was my baseball coach at Sheepshead Bay High School,” Goldsmith said. “I pitched, but left the team for my true love — tennis.”

Russo later coached baseball at LIU.

Next up is Danny Walker, basketball, and tennis coach at Sheepshead Bay. “He introduced me to the game of tennis, and I thank him for that,” Goldsmith recalled.

Brooklyn College’s former basketball coach, Al Kaplan, is the cleanup man on Goldsmith’s list. “I played basketball for him at Brooklyn three years,” Goldsmith said, “And they were great.”

Ken Kern and Arthur Gilbert — summer camp directors at Camp Mahopac in upstate New York — round out the Barry Goldsmith thank-you list.

“Gilbert played football at James Madison High School,” Goldsmith remembered “and treated us like Marines in summer camp. He was a great instructor.”

Goldsmith learned his lessons well, because he was inducted into the College Coaches Hall of Fame in tennis at the University of Georgia in 2015 by the NJCAA. He holds the title of Master Professional in the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), a ranking held by only one percent of its 15,000 members.

In his, gulp, spare time, Goldsmith managed to pen three books. The first is “The Wisdom of a Coach — Health, Wealth, Education, Athletics (Tennis and Basketball), A Game Plan for Life,” published in 2019.

His second book, “The Boys of Winter,” was published last year, and a third book, “Death, Dying and Living,” will follow.

He says that growing up in the New York City Housing Authority projects in the ‘’50s and ’60s, you earned a PhD — Poor, Hungry and Driven.

That in a nutshell is Barry Goldsmith. And when asked about his greatest achievement in no time he said, “Marrying my wife. There is no one nicer,” he said of his Rachelle.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment