Statement from Northwest Guilford HS on the leaving of football coach Joe Woodruff

Posted by Andy Durham on April 10, 2014 at 9:48 am under High School | 6 Comments to Read

from John Hughes, Northwest Guilford Athletics Director:

Northwest Guilford head varsity football coach Joe Woodruff announced in a team meeting this morning that he will be leaving Northwest at the end of the school year to take the head football coaching job at Big Rapids HS in Big Rapids, Michigan. Coach Woodruff and his wife Patti are Michigan natives and, along with children Abbey and Brady, are looking forward to returning to their home state. Joe began his coaching and teaching career in Michigan in 1989, leaving in 2006 for a brief stop in Florida before coming to North Carolina and Northwest High School in 2007.

While at Northwest for the past seven years as head football coach, Coach Woodruff had a record of 51-33 along with two conference coach of the year awards and was also selected Coach of the Week in North and South Carolina by the Carolina Panthers. His teams won conference championships in three seasons and made the state playoffs six out of the seven years he was at Northwest. To put this in perspective, only once in the fifty year history of the school has a Northwest team won a conference championship in football before Coach Woodruff arrived in 2007.

This past season was the highlight of Coach Woodruff’s tenure at Northwest. The 2013 team finished with a school all-time best 12 wins while beating perennial North Carolina 4AA powerhouses Page and Richmond County in home playoff games played at RL Billings Stadium. The team would eventually lose in the third round to 4AA state champion and nationally ranked Mallard Creek High School.

Some thoughts……

Beyond the wins and championships, Coach Woodruff and his coaching staff have had an immense impact on the young men in the football program. The football program under his leadership was like a family atmosphere, with young men learning significant life lessons each season and the coaching staff working hand and hand to assist. Above all, coach preached the values of hard work, fundamental play, honesty, and integrity to his players while never compromising these values to win football games. He is a tremendous husband, father, coach, and role model that will be missed at Northwest High and in the surrounding community. For the past seven years since Joe arrived at Northwest, we had an outstanding football program that the school and community can be proud of. While he will be difficult to replace, the future has never been so encouraging for our football program because work he did and the legacy he will leave at Northwest.

John Hughes
Northwest Guilford High School
Athletic Director

*****from GreensboroSports.com:Coach Woodruff was so passioniate about football and he gave everything he had while at NWG…He worked hard to build that program and just one conference championship prior to his arrival at Northwest, that says it all when you look at what he did during his stay…He and his son Brady are quite some team and the kid is a young football genius and will we miss seeing what he could have done at NWG…Always like to see what the coach’s kids can do, after they have been around the game for so long….Will always remember Brady carrying around a clipboard(with some notes) or maybe he would be drawing up a play…

Coach Woodruff is genuine and that is through and through…He tells it like it is and lives it like you should, and he lives with a passion for football and wherever he goes, at the next stop in his career, they will be getting a first-class football coach…

I learned a lot from him and it was more than just about football…He taught us you need to look at the situation and take all of those that are involved into consideration…..

For our interviews he sent us top-notch players and we got to meet some of the best kids around, by being around Coach Woodruff…

Most called him Woody and we will call him a very good coach and a good friend to all of those he had the chance to meet along the way here in North Carolina…..

Best of luck and continued success for Coach Woodruff at his next stop, back home in Michigan…Can’t fault a man for heading home and as the song said and he and his family will be saying it soon, “Hey it’s good to be back home again”…..

Really got this feeling that Coach Woodruff and Brady will have some big Friday nights ahead of them on the football fields in the future…..*****


  • simmons said,

    Good Luck Coach Woody You are a Class guy with a great and a great friend, with an amazing football mind. NWG was lucky to get you all those years ago. i appreciate all you did for me personally, and really look back fondly on our days of coaching together. Rip it up in Big Rapids…

    Coach Simmons

  • simmons said,

    Good Luck Coach Woody You are a Class guy an a great friend, with an amazing football mind. NWG was lucky to get you all those years ago. i appreciate all you did for me personally, and really look back fondly on our days of coaching together. Rip it up in Big Rapids…

    Coach Simmons

  • Football Fan said,

    NW is losing one heck of a coach, leader, and an amazing man! There will never be another coach Woodruff at NW. The guy eats sleeps and breathes NW Viking Football. He will be missed by so many! I have never seen a coach and staff get so much out their players. One D-1 scholarship player in 7 years and 3 conference championships. There are a lot of reasons why NW has been so successful the last 7 years but the main factor was coach Woody! I just hope the administration brings in another coach who is a proven winner and can add to what this staff has already built. Thanks Coach Woody for all the memories you will be missed! Good Luck in Michigan!!!!

  • Greensboro Football said,

    I must admit if someone said 10 years ago that NW would be a constant winner and state contender everyone would have laughed at you. But this staff has proven that you can win without big time names and team work. Greensboro is losing one heck of a coach!

  • Just wondering said,

    So who are some of the top coaches for this job?

  • Kendall said,

    The community will miss a quality family like the woodruff’s congrats and much success on your michigan adventure, good luck to abby with her future soccer