|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Woodard in third season at Lamar
CORRIGAN -- It is always good to see someone from your hometown do well in their career and that is what Raymond Woodard has done for himself. Woodard is the head coach for the Lamar Cardinals and has been so for the past four years. He is a graduate of Corrigan- Camden High School and most of his family still live in Polk County. His parents are Ottince Woodard and the late Raymond Woodard Sr.. His brother Michael, sister, Debbie and mother all live in Corrigan. Woodard and the former Penne Striedel, of Livingston, have been married since March, 1982. The couple has one daughter, Jessica, who was married in April, 2010, to Eric Martin. Woodard and his wife also became proud grandparents on Apr. 23, 2012, as Trey DeSoto Martin was welcomed into the world. With two seasons under his belt, Ray Woodard has the Lamar University football program headed in the right direction. In 2011, Lamar was able to compete as a full member of the Southland Conference and Woodard guided the Cardinals to a pair of conference road wins on their way to a 4-7 overall record and a 2-5 league mark. For the second straight year, Woodard’s Cardinals rewrote the Lamar record books. Seven individual and six team records were either set or tied during the 2011 campaign.. Not only did the Cardinals take the fi eld for the fi rst time since 1989, but they turned a lot of heads with their immediate success on the gridiron. Woodard guided the Cardinals to a 5-6 overall record, which included a 4-2 mark in newly refurbished Provost Umphrey Stadium while playing in front of capacity crowds in their fi rst four home games. The overall record does not begin to tell the story of the renewed excitement and school pride that were returned to the Beaumont campus. Although the Cardinals were not eligible for the Southland Conference championship during the 2010 season, the excitement generated by Lamar’s resurrection of the football program was refl ected in the fact Woodard was one of fi ve fi nalists voted for the Southeast Texas Press Club’s 2010 Newsmaker of the Year Award. Woodard was named the eighth football coach at Lamar University by university president James Simmons and then athletics director Billy Tubbs on May 19, 2008. He came to Lamar after serving three seasons at Navarro College - the fi rst two as defensive coordinator and the fi nal as head coach. His 2007 squad went 9-3 and advanced to the conference playoffs for the fi rst time in six seasons. Navarro claimed a 24-21 win over Georgia Military in the Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl to finish the year ranked fourth in the NJCAA national poll. For his efforts, Woodard was named the SWJCFC Coach of the Year. From 2003-05, Woodard served as the head football and track coach at Burton (Texas) High School, with the Panthers winning the district title in track in 2004. He spent two years as the defensive coordinator at Livingston (Texas) HS from 1998-2001 and one season at Trinity HS in 1997-98. Trinity went 7-3 in 1997. Woodard spent three years as the defensive coordinator for the Scottish Claymores from 2000- 03 during his second stint with an NFL Europe franchise. Woodard’s other professional coaching experience came as the general manager/head coach for the Houston Outlaws (1999- 2000) of the Regional Football League, defensive coordinator of the Frankfurt Galaxy (1996- 97) of NFL Europe and the Texas Terror (1996) of the Arena Football League. Woodard’s first experience at the NCAA level came in 1998 when he was the defensive line coach at Louisiana-Lafayette. Lineman Danny Scott registered eight sacks, which ranks fourth in the ULL single-season list. From 1988-95 Woodard was the defensive coordinator at Kilgore College and recruited more than 200 Texas high school student-athletes. The Rangers appeared in back-toback Shrine Bowls in 1989 and 1990. Kilgore had a 9-2 record in 1990, won the conference championship and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the country. Woodard also had a successful playing career, from his days at Corrigan-Camden HS to Kilgore College and the University of Texas to five years in the NFL. After earning 13 letters in four sports at Corrigan-Camden from 1975-79, he walked on at Kilgore College then went on to became a two-time All-America selection as a defensive tackle from 1980-81. The Rangers finished the 1980 season ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA rankings after posting a 10-1 record and winning the TJCFC Championship. Woodard then finished his college career at Texas under coach Fred Akers. The 1982 team went 9-3 and finished the season ranked 17th nationally. As a senior in 1983, Woodard and the Longhorns posted a perfect 11-0 regular-season mark, captured the Southwest Conference championship and finished the season ranked fifth in the nation. Texas led the nation in total defense, yielding an average of 212 yards per game along with and average of 9.5 points per game. Woodard was selected in the eighth round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He spent the next five seasons with the Chargers, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. He was a member of the Broncos’ 1986 AFC Champion and Super Bowl team. Woodard received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and history from Sam Houston State University in 1988 and his master’s in education from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1991.