GOODHUE — Jacob McNamara will leave his hometown for college in the fall, but the Goodhue senior said he plans to return.
McNamara, son of Dave and Rose McNamara, will study education at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minn., with hopes of coming back to Goodhue Public Schools as a faculty member.
“Ever since I was younger I wanted to do something with school, either a teacher or a coach,” he said, adding that working with special education students in Goodhue opened his eyes to possible career paths. “I want to give back what everybody gave me, all of my teachers.”
Bethany Lutheran College is a good fit because of its small campus and Christian foundation, McNamara said. It also is close enough that he can come home to help out on the farm.
The accomplished student athlete will play basketball at Bethany Lutheran. He said he is excited to work with the college’s coach and form new friendships.
“And win some ballgames,” he said.
McNamara has played basketball for much of his life. He credits a large part of his success in the sport to coaching from his father and the toughening up he received from brothers Dan and Mike McNamara.
“I really liked having older brothers,” he added. “I look up to them as role models and learn from them.”
McNamara said he will cherish his memories playing high school sports as well as the connections he made with teammates.
“I don’t know of a better leader, whether on court or off court,” said Matt Halverson, one of McNamara’s teachers and a football and basketball coach. “He doesn’t just say it, he does it.”
Halverson praised McNamara’s work ethic and positive influence on classmates.
“I don’t know if he’s one in a million or one in 10 million, but I know there’s not many of them,” Halverson said.
When asked about the prospect of one day coaching the Wildcats, McNamara said:
“That’d be awesome to come back to teach and coach. That’s kind of been my dream.”
McNamara had many fond words for Goodhue, from the support of the community during times of tragedy to celebration such as during the school’s recent run in the state basketball tournament.
“I don’t think there was a kid left in town,” he said, “they were all at the tournament watching us.”
Class size: 45 students
Graduation is 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4