By Jarrod Harris
Times West Virginian
It’s getting exciting in Fighting Falcon country.
Fairmont State University’s new head football coach, Jason Woodman, has some renovating ahead of him this season.
Last year, the Falcons went 4-6, under the direction of Mike Lopez. That’s when administration decided to make a change and bring in the North Marion and FSU graduate.
With this being Woodman’s first summer as an official head coach, he has been working day and night trying to better the program.
“There is so much that you want to get done in the summertime to make the fall season so much easier and smoother,” Woodman said. “There is a lot of stuff that we want to get done. It’s kind of like those hurry-up-and-wait, hurry-up-and-wait situations where we know that we have a ton of stuff that we want to get ready, but it has to happen in phases.
“Right now, it’s one of those times where we have to get the summer workouts going and finalize recruiting. We have to realize who’s coming in and get the depth chart ready. We have to do everything from getting equipment ordered to getting our practice plans together.”
Being a head coach requires winning, and if you don’t win, then the end result is being fired. Woodman already knows the stress that goes along with being a head coach, but he’s willing to take the opportunity at full-force.
“Honestly, being a head coach is a little more fun for me,” Woodman said. “It’s something that I’ve dreamt about ever since I was a kid. Growing up, wanting to be a head football coach is one of the things of having a dream come true where you get to have your hands on everything.
“As an assistant, you’re basically worried about the offense, or you’re worried about your position, or something more specific. As the head coach, I find myself with my hands in everything. I’ve been waiting on doing this for a long time, but it’s been fun.”
Even though the job entails a high level of stress involvement, coaches are born leaders. Woodman lives for the success — he’s a true man of the X’s and O’s — plus he’s eager to maximize the athletes’ talent levels while bringing out their utmost potential.
Some coaches can rely on just the offensive game, and some are defensive=minded head coaches; however, for Woodman, he believes he can do it all.
“We’re trying to pinpoint what we did well in the spring and some of the things we can build on,” Woodman said. “Fortunately, we have a lot of good players who are already intact.
“Instead of us coming in and forcing what we want to do, I think the best thing for us to do is kind of look at what we have and shoot the bullets that are already loaded. We’re going to go with the players who are already here and do what they’re good at. Our scheme is probably going to change from now to a year or two away. There’s a good chance that it will change.”
A prized possessions that Woodman inherited from a year ago is one of the top running backs in the entire country.
The running back? Daniel Monroe.
Last season with the Falcons, Monroe tallied 705 yards on 136 carries. He went for 5.2 yards per carry and plowed his way through opposing team’s defenses while scoring eight touchdowns.
With having some key returnees on offense, Woodman has some work to do on the defensive side of the ball.
FSU allowed 4,019 total yards and 39 touchdowns in the 2012 season.
Woodman sees the positive in the team. The Falcons graduated just nine players from the team from a year ago.
It would have been 10 if it hadn’t been for the injury that standout defensive back Dewey McDonald suffered.
“We’re a young team, and we don’t have very many seniors,” Woodman said. “We’re sophomore heavy, and we’re bringing in a lot of transfers who are going to have two years and they’re going to be here a while.
“If we do all of the dirty work now and lay a foundation and make sure we do things right the first time around, we know we have these guys here for a while. There is something that we can build on. We have a lot of talent, and we think we can get there.”
We will see what the Falcons will have in store for us come Sept. 5, at home against Seton Hill. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m.
“Everyone in Marion County wants us to win every game, and that’s not excluding myself,” Woodman said. “We have to realize that it may take us a little while to get there. We want to win every game, but we want to do our best to improve every day and worry about ourselves and strive for taking it one day at a time.”
Email Jarrod Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JarrodHarrisTWV.