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Beloved Chesterfield coach dies at age 33

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The Chesterfield swim community is mourning the death of a beloved coach and friend.

Brian Goh, 33, died in his sleep overnight Monday, July 17. Family and friends said that Goh’s passion was swimming. He coached the Clover Hill High School Swim Team and at the time of his passing, coached the Queensmill Quackers summer league team.

Friends and family members remembered Goh for his selfless attitude and the encouragement that he gave to so many young swimmers.

Brian Goh from 2006.

Amy Britton said Goh coached her daughter, Maddie, when she was five-years-old and had just started competitive swimming at the Midlothian YMCA. Maddie is now 16, but Britton said her daughter still considered Goh both a coach and a friend.

“Even though she has moved on to other teams in her swimming career, he has always stayed in touch and watched her at meets, and even came to some of her meets he was not coaching at,” Britton said.

Head Coach of Poseidon Swimming, Ted Sallande, also remembered the close relationships Goh created with his swimmers.

“His swimmers, his students, his children that worked with him liked him because he cared about them as individuals," Sallande said. "At a time when excelling at all costs seems to be the norm, with Brian, it was always about having fun."

With Virginia Swimming Championships coming up this weekend, Sallande said some of his swimmers are having a difficult time coping with the loss of Coach Goh.

“I tell my athletes when there is a difficult passing, like this one, to dedicate what they are going to do in his honor. That’s what he would have wanted,” Sallande said.

Brian Goh.

Goh’s brother, Kenneth, said that he and his family have found comfort in knowing that their brother and son touched the lives of so many people.

“He was constantly giving back to the swimming community and coached for local teams," Kenneth explained. "If there was any way he could give back and push his swimmers to do better or do more, he was always there for encouragement and support."

Michael Hall, President of the Chesterfield Aquatic League, told members of the Chesterfield swim community, “The Executive Committee has made itself available to the Queensmill staff to assist in any way possible through this difficult time. We are also currently evaluating different ways to honor Brian's memory as we approach the Championship season.”

A memorial service has not yet been planned at this time. Goh’s family asked to make a donation to your favorite charity in Brian’s honor, in lieu of flowers.