Family: Married to Kellie Goza
Dr. Jake Goza has his dad fooled.
Goza, a dentist who practices with Dr. Tommy Spears in Maryville, grew up in Jonesboro, Ark., where his dad, Gene Goza, was a basketball coach.
“My parents, Gene and Linda Goza, were my biggest influence growing up. I just remember my dad always telling me if he could do it over again, he would be a dentist so he could have Fridays off and play golf,” Jake Goza said.
As he got older, Jake Goza began to consider his father’s advice and spoke to several dentists and shadowed some to learn more about the occupation. “It seemed like something that was a lot of fun. Basically it was my dad’s desire that I play golf on Fridays that I became a dentist,” Jake Goza said with a quick smile. “Little does he know I work on Fridays.”
From Jonesboro, Goza went to Louisiana State University to attend dental school and stayed there for a couple years after school. “They had one of the best dental schools and the prospect of living in New Orleans was interesting. I moved down there in 2003 and worked in a dentist’s office a couple years after school,” he said.
Living through Hurricane Katrina didn’t change his positive attitude about New Orleans. If anything, the way residents responded only made him like the city more.
“I saw a lot of the good that a lot of people didn’t see because most people saw the bad in media outlets. I had first-hand experiences of the good that happens there,” he said. “People were way more eager to help. People will give you the shirt off their back, and I saw a bunch of that. New Orleans is one of my favorites, if not my favorite city.”
Jake and his wife, Kellie, married in May of 2009. They met almost four years ago during Christmas of 2006.
“Kellie is from here, and we have a mutual friend from my hometown in Arkansas who was a pharmacy student at UT and worked with Kellie. She came home with her one Christmas, and we met kind of accidentally. I was interested and even though she lived here, and I lived in New Orleans, it just worked out.”
Here is Jake Goza:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“Personality-wise, I’m like my father. Appearance-wise, I’m like my mother.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
‘”I’m not superstitious, just a little stitious,’ - Michael Scott, ‘The Office.’ I love that show. It fits my sense of humor.”
What are you guilty of?
“Stupid humor. To me, stuff that is dry that you have to think about is just hilarious.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“Our new house. We just moved in two weeks ago. It’s in Alcoa. Right now we’re by ourselves in a brand new house, and that seems to me like a good place to stay and raise a couple kids for a good while.”
What are you reading currently?
“‘A Confederacy of Dunces,’ by John Kennedy Toole; it is about a guy growing up in New Orleans in the 1950s. One of my dental school instructors said that was his favorite book and he talked me into reading it. It is just really good.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Go to Italy - crossed off; go to a Duke vs. UNC game at Duke - crossed off; and run a full marathon - not crossed off. A marathon is just a challenge and if you do that you could be proud of yourself. It’s a big accomplishment to do 26 miles.
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Kind. I try to treat everyone as I would treat my mother or father. They taught me the Golden Rule.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I’d like to be taller. I’m 5 foot 9 inches tall. I love to play basketball and don’t get to play too much because I’m short.”
What is your passion?
“My wife would say it is basketball. My dad was basketball coach when I was growing up and ever since I remember walking I’ve played ball. I love to watch it.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Thomas Jefferson and/or John Adams. They were basically the founders of our country and the writers of the Declaration of Independence. I think they had really good ideas.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“I think Steve Carrel and myself have pretty similar personalities.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I would visit during the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“The keys to my first car from my parents. It was a 1997 Honda Civic with 18 miles on it. It was brand new.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Do the best you can every time you do something and you will never have any regrets.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“Some of my best friends. They are great people and are great examples of how to live life.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“Definitely dog. I like cats when they are kittens, but when they’re older they don’t play anymore and just kind of lay around.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve ever had.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“It is not a cartoon, but I used to watch ‘Land of the Lost’ because even then I knew it was cheesy and cheap, and it made me like it even more.”
What irritates you?
“When things don’t work like they are supposed to.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Personally, I love the mountains. They’re good for so many things - biking, riding, hiking or just looking at them. I grew up in basically a rice field - flatland. It is so nice to have contrasts.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Start investing your money now, and save as much as you can.”