Hometown Hero: Rashaun Woods of Oklahoma
Former OSU All-American teaches his high school students to be winners on and off the field
Game day is big for high school football coach Rashaun Woods and his players. So are all the days leading up to it.
“You have to teach kids that if they love to play the game, they have to work at it,” says Rashaun, a two-time Oklahoma State All-American who played in the NFL before returning to his native Oklahoma to coach.
The bottom line: “You can’t just show up on game day.”
That’s what the Enid High School Plainsmen are learning under Rashaun, their new head coach. He’s implementing the same strategy with the Enid team that turned around the John Marshall High School Bears in Oklahoma City.
His strategy teaches students discipline and gives them direction, making them winners on and off the field.
Under Rashaun, the Bears went from an 0-10 record in 2013 to state champions in 2018. He implemented mandatory workouts, practices, and study halls. He even gave students rides to make sure they put in the time.
“Leadership transfers, regardless of whether you’re on the football field or in the classroom,” Rashaun’s younger brother Donovan Woods says. “Everything he does, he puts his all into it.”
Donovan says her always recognized his brother’s prowess on the gridiron, but he gained greater appreciation when he saw him work with high school students and youth through his church.
“His journey is unique getting to play in the NFL and then getting to go back and show it’s a possibility for you if you do the right things,” Donovan says. “But after that, if you haven’t sharpened other tools, you need to do that to continue to make a life for you and your family.”
Now, Rashaun’s working to make winners out of the Plainsmen, a team that ended its 2018 season with a 1-9 record. "It's about focus and determination," he says.