NORTHWEST GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL’S JOE WOODRUFF NAMED CAROLINA PANTHERS HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE WEEK
CHARLOTTE, NC — The Carolina Panthers are pleased to announce the selection of Coach Joe Woodruff as their ninth High School Coach of the Week of the 2011 season. Coach Woodruff is currently in his fourth season as the head football coach at Northwest Guilford High School.
Coach Woodruff joined the Northwest Guilford staff in 2007 taking over the reigns as head coach. In the 50 years previous, the Vikings had been anything but a powerhouse. The Vikings had won just one Conference championship (1980). Since Coach Woodruff’s arrival four years ago, the Vikings have made the playoffs each year, won two conference championships and reinvigorated a previously struggling football program. Last season, Woodruff was voted “Conference Coach of the Year.”
In addition to having his players and coaches assist at the local summer camp, Coach Woodruff lead his team and coaching staff to nearby Stokesdale every night after practice to help coach the local youth football league. Woodruff decided his players “needed to become involved with the younger kids that see the Varsity Players as role models throughout the season.” The team also would go Saturday mornings (after having Friday Night Games) to coach the team in their games. Woodruff used this experience to show the players how important they were to the youth in their community while also using it as a building block on how to move forward after a loss and how to stay humble after a win.
The Vikings also instituted a theme of the week. The theme would be reinforced throughout practices and at the weekly pregame meal at Cornerstone Baptist Church. Among some of the weekly topics were: integrity, honesty, discipline, attention to detail, and perseverance. “We have built our program on a true team approach. It is very difficult to get high school age kids to trust each other and give to a cause greater than themselves” but Woodruff uses the theme of the week to help teach these life lessons. “My role as a coach is to teach young men how to be good and productive citizens, as well as, role models for others, unselfishly giving themselves for others” said Woodruff. It is this selflessness and devotion to the betterment of his team and his community that has earned Coach Woodruff the title of Carolina Panthers Coach of the Week.
In recognition of Woodruff, Carolina Panthers Charities will donate $1,000 to Northwest Guilford High School’s athletic department. All of this year’s winners will be honored with an on-field presentation during the Panthers home game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 24, 2011. At that time, the 2011 Coach of the Year will be announced and the winning coach will receive an additional $2,000 grant for his school’s athletic department.