James "Jim" F. Goff (September 18, 1936 - April 2, 2006) was a game designer who obtained bachelors and masters degrees in geography in 1958 and 1959 from the Illinois State Normal University Normal, Illinois, his home town and the city where he was born. In 1970, he obtained his PhD in geography from the University of Illinois, in Urbana. Professor Goff served on the faculty for 37 years, from 1963 until his retirement to 2000 and was chair of the departmental from 1975 to 1981.
He also taught wargame design and about the Soviet Union. He was a recognized expert on the Soviet Union and military geography. The James F. Goff Geography Graduate Research Endowment honors a person who is devoted to geographic education and students at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Goff was completed blind by the age of 35. This was a result of diabetes he had battled since the age of 14. He became a founding member of the Mankato chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. He was also a voracious reader, played a good game of chess, and collected coins, stamps, and military memorabilia.