Life + Arts Profile

Landon Goesling brings sunshine back to UH

Picture of Landon Goesling sitting at the table. Part of the interview photo.

Landon Goesling sits with The Cougar to discuss life after “The Bachelorette” and more. | Courtesy of Landon Goesling

Landon Goesling is having one heck of an interesting year.

Fondly known as ‘Sunshine’ to the UH and Houston community, the former UH basketball player has gone through a whirlwind of events during 2021.

Shortly after riding the highs of his collegiate basketball career at UH and a coaching gig at his former high school, the California native somehow found himself on the long-running reality show, “The Bachelorette.”

A popular show among many reality television fans, Goesling competed against 29 men, eager to capture bachelorette’s Katie Thurston heart. 

Tensions ran high as the contestants whipped out their corniest pick-up lines and fought for personal time with Katie.

Unfortunately, even with the effort given, Goesling’s pink suit and sunny personality were seemingly not enough to continue beyond the first episode.

However, the abrupt hiatus to his reality TV career was not enough to stop his coin as he landed a job with UH Athletics as its assistant director for development operations and special projects. 

Since leaving the show, Goesling now helps UH connect with potential donors and fundraise for the athletics department.

In light of his newfound position at UH, I took the time to learn about the time he met Drake, how he became a “Certified Lover Boy” as a member of “The Bachelorette,” life as a part of UH staff and more.

Ashley: I think I want to start with your time on “The Bachelorette.” How did it all happen, and what was the whole experience? 

Landon: I received a phone call one day and was asked if I would be interested. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life at that point, and it was kind of like a why not for me, so I did it. And out of all my experiences, basketball, traveling and sports, I can say it’s one of the craziest ones of my life. I met friends that I am still really close to today. It was a different, but fun experience.

I’m kind of curious. When I saw you on the show, I was confused to see how you didn’t have a quirky pick-up line or anything.

I will say that they did not air my entire pick-up line. So what was shown on television was not the best part. There’s a lot more that went into it, but obviously what shows on TV, shows on TV. I will say I had a sunshine pick-up line in there that did not air.

Well, that leads me to my next question. Where does the nickname sunshine come from? Do people call you that in real life?

Yeah, so coach (Kelvin) Sampson- I don’t even know if coach Sampson knew my real name. The first day I came for a visit, he cracked a joke with the whole team and called me sunshine. Although, I will say coach Sampson and Galen Robinson (Jr.) kicked off the sunshine thing. 

But, yeah, it sticks with me to this day. I mean, around Houston I get called sunshine probably more than I do my real name. But now I know when I hear sunshine, I’ll turn around and respond to it. It definitely stuck and I don’t have a choice. So now I rock with it.

Would you do another reality show? And if so, which one?

Uh, I think my reality television career is over. As I said, it’s a great experience, but I don’t think it aligns with who I am. But, you know, I will never say never. It led me to kind of where I’m at right now and was a great opportunity.

What’s life like after “The Bachelorette?” Is it weird to have people like me recognize you out of nowhere?

So what is funny is that around Houston, and the University especially, I was always known for being on the basketball team. 

So people were like “Hey Landon, you were on the team,” or they were like “Hey Landon, you were in the Sweet Sixteen.” And now those days are over since “The Bachelorette.”

Now people are like “hey that’s Landon from ‘The Bachelorette,’” instead of “hey, that’s Landon from the basketball team.” As I said, it’s fun. It’s all fun. It’s just a bit weird I’m being known for a television show rather than playing the sport I did my whole life. 

How does it feel being back at UH, and why? 

I feel like I’m back home. You know it took me leaving (Houston) during the peak of COVID-19 to realize how special this place was. As soon as I left, I knew I had to get my butt back to Houston and, more importantly, the University.

It’s kind of hard to put into words. I came from the basketball program there, which is very family-oriented. And the whole University is very family-oriented. Everybody knows each other, and everybody takes care of each other. As I said, Houston is a very special place, but I don’t think people realize how lucky they are to be a part of UH or have it right there at their fingertips in this city. 

Do you feel like you are giving back to the UH community?

Absolutely. When I transferred to UH as a graduate transfer, I played in the NCAA tournament with a ranked team and scored my thousandth career point. That was a dream come true for me, and I feel indebted to the University to give back. And little things like walking around on campus, getting to see people on campus, taking pictures with them, or just talking with people about my experiences feels right.

OK, my next question is kind of controversial, but “Certified Lover Boy” or “Donda?” Which is better?

Oh CLB. Not even close.

The office was saying you would say this.

But here’s the thing, I don’t know if you know this, but I met Drake and played with him here on campus.

I saw that picture!

I feel like that’s my boy. I feel what we had was personal, and I gotta stick by him, you know?

Oh my gosh. Not that. Okay. Final question. Someone requested for me to ask this: What do you use in hair?

I can’t tell you that. It’s a special process. I received this question before, and I can’t let that information leak cause it’s very top secret. 

So we’re gatekeeping hair?

It’s top-secret! But just know there is a process in place.

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