Woodland's New Head Football Coach upholds Woodland's ideals of student athletes as students first

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Woodland Public Schools announces the hiring of Mike Woodward as the new Head Football Coach at Woodland High School continuing Woodland's tradition of providing students with high-quality athletic opportunities while instilling the values of being academically-minded student leaders.

Mike Woodward, a Southwest Washington native, will begin coaching the Woodland High School Beavers Football Team beginning summer 2016.
Mike Woodward, a Southwest Washington native, will begin coaching the Woodland High School Beavers Football Team beginning summer 2016.

Woodward, a Southwest Washington native, grew up in Battle Ground, Washington, and graduated from Battle Ground High School. While coaching, Woodward, who prefers to be called "Coach Woody," taught Physical Education at Mountain View High School and Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver School District before spending the past nine years teaching for Westview High School in San Diego, California.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health from Eastern Oregon State College and his Master's degree in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. "I love coaching kids and helping them become men and women of character," explained Woodward. "I emphasize developing the whole athlete for their high school experience and beyond which includes respecting all the students, staff, community, and fans that go into making a successful athletic program."

Over his 17-year career as a head coach, Woodward guided his teams to the playoffs for 12 years including winning nearly 100 games.
Over his 17-year career as a head coach, Woodward guided his teams to the playoffs for 12 years including winning nearly 100 games.

Over his 17-year career as a head coach, Woodward guided his teams to the playoffs for 12 years including winning nearly 100 games. His coaching style and programs focus on instilling the importance of community service, education, self-respect, and family in his players. "We interviewed a strong pool of candidates and feel that Mike is the perfect fit our school and community; Woodward is the exact fit Woodland Public Schools is looking for," said Paul Huddleston, Athletic Director. "It feels like Mike chose Woodland just as much as we chose him."

Huddleston emphasizes the importance of academics and character throughout the district's entire program. "We're excited for what Mike can bring to our already solid program; our previous coaches have done a spectacular job building an incredibly strong football program," he said.

Huddleston uses research to help guide the athletic program, and psychological research shows that a well-rounded athletic program can improve school climate and lead to a psychology of success for every student regardless of whether they directly participate in athletics. "My vision for our athletic program is to have one that impacts the entire school; it's not just about the sports, it's about developing the character of the athletes and having those athletes influence the students of the entire school, creating a psychology of success throughout the school with athletes who are not on a pedestal - they're servant leaders who give back and treat their classmates with respect."

Woodward uses his "Men of Character" plan to instill values of respect and appreciation in his players and coaching staff to respect the students, the staff, the community, and all involved in making a successful athletic program.
Woodward uses his "Men of Character" plan to instill values of respect and appreciation in his players and coaching staff to respect the students, the staff, the community, and all involved in making a successful athletic program.

Woodward's plan for building a successful team revolves around his year-long "Men of Character" approach to coaching through Purpose, Attitude, Core values, and Tenets (PACT) holds many similarities to the Woodland's existing approach to athletics. "We commit to this approach and instill it in our players," said Woodward. "The foundation of our program begins with an emphasis on developing the whole athlete with this special program which holds players and coaches accountable every day for the entire year, regardless of whether or not we're currently in an active football season."

Woodward will begin coaching at Woodland High School during the summer of the 2016-17 school year.