At college level, competing for UCLA, he won three outdoor NCAA championship victories, two in discus and one in shot put. His 1995 NCAA Outdoor shot put title was a national record, at the time with a throw of 22.00 meters (72'2.25"). In 1995, he won his first World Championship title in shot put, adding additional titles in 1997, and 2001. In the same discipline, he finished second in the 1996 Olympics and third in the 2000 Olympics. He also qualified to those same Olympics in the Discus, the first American to qualify in both since Bud Houser in 1924 and he finished 8th in the 2004 Olympics in the Shot Put. He retired in 2009 after suffering through injuries at the 2008 Olympic Trials.
Godina is one of the most decorated shot putters in U.S. athletics history. His legacy compares well with Parry O'Brien, who won two Olympic gold medals (1952, 1956) and one silver medal (1960), placed fourth in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, and broke the world record 17 times.
Godina was named to the Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame in 2010. His coach Art Venegas was named to the Hall in 2011.