Most Detroit Lions fans are familiar with Jared Goff’s path to the Motor City. The No. 1 pick out of the University of California in 2016, Goff was selected by the Los Angeles Rams and helped lead them to Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 season. Two years later, after falling out of favor with the Rams’ coaching staff, Goff was part of a trade that sent him to Detroit, where he is currently helping the Lions lay roots of a foundational rebuild of the organization.
A lesser-known part of Goff’s football career was his high school playing days. A three-year starter at Marin Catholic High school in California, Goff was a four-star recruit—moderately ranked as the 213th best player and 15th best quarterback in the 2013 class—and while he led his team to the playoffs, they came up short of winning a state title.
This season, Marin Catholic won their state title, and Goff surprised them with a gift of Championship Rings as recognition of their accomplishment:
“For our players and community, it’s like a dream,” Marin Catholic head coach Mazi Moayed told Pride of Detroit. “With one gesture, a guy who operates in the clouds, reminds our community that he walks beside them within arm's length. As for me, I love Jared because he is who he is. His character, heart, and humility have always shined regardless of the stage or the circumstance. Relationships are what give life meaning; and even though I appreciate our connection, the impact of his relationship/mentorship with our players and community is priceless.”
One of those players, senior Charlie Allen, also shared with us what Goff’s gesture meant to him.
“Jared’s impact is huge for Marin Catholic,” Allen said. “He’s been an incredible inspiration and mentor to our Championship team and to every young athlete in Marin County. Winning a State Championship is awesome… but receiving our State Championship rings from J.G. himself makes it even more special. Thank you Jared for continuing to support all of us.”
This wasn’t the only time Goff has been in contact with his former high school either. Marin Catholic president, Tim Navone, explained to Pride of Detroit that Goff has been involved in the community for some time, offering both his time and financial support.
“What makes this special is this is not a one-time gift from a celebrity alum,” Navone said. “Rather, Jared is in constant contact with the school helping in all areas all the time, supporting scholarship students, buying computers, doing Zoom sessions to support our students through Covid, and anything else that we ask. He took time to speak to the team before the season, and then bookended it with this special gift. He’s been a leader from day one and continues to shine. What an incredible example he sets for our entire Wildcat community.”
This is just the latest altruistic act the Lions quarterback has performed, as Goff has historically shown that he is dedicated to positively impacting youth in schools and communities that have meaning to him.
“L.A. became home for me,” Goff said in an interview with LA Times Sam Farmer after being traded to Detroit. “It’s a place where I put my roots in the ground. Being able to affect the community in Inglewood over the past year or two has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
During Goff’s time in Los Angeles, he was a fixture in the community, and he used his status as an NFL quarterback to make an impact. He teamed up with California Strong, a charity focused on relief for families who lost their homes due to wildfires—Goff’s dad was a firefighter. He and Rams teammate Andrew Whitworth helped fund two million meals for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. And he has helped raise money for several school districts in California.
One specific school that had captured Goff’s attention was Warren Lane Elementary School in Inglewood, California. In 2020, Goff funded the renovation of their library, and POD’s own Andrew Kato tracked down a cool video with the details posted by the Inglewood Unified School District online. Then in 2021, despite now living in Detroit, Goff continued to support them by helping fund a STEM Lab for the children this past school year:
“Last month during November’s Good Day event, @jaredgoff and @inglewoodunified unveiled the JG16 STEAM Lab at Warren Lane Elementary,” Goff’s charity announced on Instagram this past December. “Adjacent to the JG16 Reading Zone, this STEAM Lab will serve as space for creating, learning, and inspiring the students of Inglewood Unified School District to love learning. Happy Good Day and Happy Holidays!”
Goff’s charitable work hasn’t been confined to California only, and after he joined the Lions, he wasted no time finding ways to give back to local Michigan schools and communities as well.
In Week 5, Goff was named the NFLPA’s Community MVP for helping distribute 40,000 pounds of fresh food to 500 local families in need via Forgotten Harvest, a charity “dedicated to relieving hunger and preventing nutritious food waste.”
“It’s an incredible honor to be named NFLPA Community MVP,” Goff said in a written statement about the recognition. “I am extremely passionate about impacting the community where I play beyond the football field. The city of Detroit has embraced me and in return, I want to do all I can to leave my mark.”
In the NFLPA’s statement on Goff, they noted that his charitable efforts in Detroit would be expanding in the near future:
“In the coming months, Goff plans to broaden his commitment in the Motor City by providing winter coats to those experiencing homelessness; partnering with a local, youth-based nonprofit for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign; conducting monthly Zoom readings to students at local children’s centers; and creating a national health and wellness campaign to build fitness courts across Michigan.”
For his My Cause, My Cleats campaign, Goff focused on another Detroit-based charity, Give Merit’s FATE Program, which has worked with students from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy since 2012. His cleats were designed by students at the Academy and were presented to him in the video below:
The Lions and Goff released a statement on his choice of cleats and sponsorship via a My Cause My Cleats media release:
Throughout his time in the NFL, Goff has ensured he makes time for the community and next generation by being a figure for those who need it most. ‘Give Merit is dedicated to uplifting and empowering the youth of Detroit, and that is exactly what. am focused on. It was a natural fit.”
Goff’s largest contributions to schools and communities occur through his JG16 charity.
“I am so excited to be a Lion and to not just be a representative of the team, but a member of the Detroit community,” Goff says in a statement on his JG16 apparel website. “With that said, I want to do my part and help uplift the city by giving back. That is why every dollar from this purchase will go toward a worthy cause in the community. Additionally, I will match each contribution. Thank you for joining me in representing our town and rising together.”
All proceeds from his JG16 charity, go directly to the Detroit Lions Foundation—an initiative started by the Lions in 2020—which supports several team-driven charity events, including Inspire Change, which was launched by Lions’ players and leadership in 2018 and has donated over $1.9 million to date.
QB @JaredGoff16 and the Detroit Lions Foundation are partnering to give back to youth in our community.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 27, 2021
Proceeds from all JG16 313 Collection apparel will benefit the Detroit Lions Foundation. https://t.co/k0Z1VgLBvf pic.twitter.com/fCtFSJe0mq
Goff’s impact on the Detroit and Los Angeles communities, especially with schools, is admirable. He and his JG16 foundation continually find ways to positively impact not only the community in which he currently lives but all communities that have impacted his life.
If you’d like to support Goff in his efforts, you can do so by purchasing apparel or simply donating to his foundation at his JG16 website.