“I like to train bird-dogs; I’m a duck hunter,” newly appointed Director of Athletics John Woods says, with a grin.
Hired in June, the easy-going Woods’ explains his fondness for game-hunting in the same manner he has when describing his passion and dedication to his job.
“Philosophically,” Woods says, “everyone needs a platform for success. For some, it’s music, or art, for athletes its competition. We try to use their interests in athletics to move them into a lifestyle that’s positive and productive for them.”
As Director of Athletics, Woods oversees the entire operations of the athletic division including day-to-day specifics, organizing budgets, transportation, facilities, staff, and student-athlete eligibility.
“In a short few months since being hired, John Woods has established himself as a professional, well-respected athletic director at PCC,” PCC Information Specialist Robert Lewis said in an email, “his many years of experience in community college sports as both a coach and administrator has allowed him to quickly step in and lend his support to the intercollegiate coaches here.”
Woods brings a bevy of wrestling accolades to his position. His career in athletics ranges from his success as a national champion wrestler for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, to his current position as commissioner for both the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, and the Southern California Wrestling Alliance.
His accomplishments as a three-time All-American, a College Division National Champion, a Division I runner-up, and as a member of two national championship teams, have led to Woods’ wrestling glory to be etched in stone in numerous Hall of Fames.
They include the Cal Poly Hall of Fame, the NCAA College Division Hall of Fame, the NCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame, the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the Pillars of Fame from his hometown of Visalia.
Before coming to PCC, Woods served as the Athletic Director and wrestling coach for Palomar College, where he won five state championships. Woods said his biggest accomplishment was the creation of the Model Academic Advisement Program.
At PCC, Woods describes the most important part of his department—the Athletic Zone—as “the backbone of our program.” The Athletic Zone is the academic support program for student-athletes which organizes EDD plans, tracks needed classes, and organizes counselor support and tutoring.
Currently, Woods is working to improve the academic support process by enlisting the help of faculty and staff and “as many folks as possible to support the athletic zone.”
This is made possible by his perception of the PCC community as one rich in altruism.
“The community is supportive of the athletes as a whole. The presidents, faculty, deans, they’re just really student-oriented. It’s been really obvious to me in my short tenure,” Woods said.
Head Coach of the Lancer football team Fred Fimbres notes how PCC is lucky to have someone with Woods’ wisdom, “We will benefit tremendously from his experience and expertise. I am excited to work with him and learn from him.”
“I enjoy working with students,” Woods explains.
“They just bring so much energy and enthusiasm. Seeing them succeed and hopefully seeing a large group transfer is the best part of my job.”
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