Jason Woodman’s coaching career has taken him all over.
“I’ve been in Clifton Stadium on a Monday night in Death Valley on national television,” he said. “I’ve been to Knoxville, Tenn., listening ‘Rocky Top.’ I’ve been to Tuscaloosa and heard ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ I’ve been to Baton Rouge where ‘Calling Baton Rouge’ played pre-game, and the ground shook and we beat Mississippi. I’ve been in the Swamp. I’ve been in Doak Campbell Stadium and seen the chomp.”
Now, the North Marion High School graduate is back as the head football coach at Fairmont State University.
As he stood before donors at a meet-and-greet fundraiser at Westchester Village on Friday night, he paused and held back emotions football coaches rarely show, especially in public.
“But come Sept 5, when we walk out of the locker room and we hear the National Anthem and I see our players,” Woodman said. “That’s going to be one of the proudest days of my life.”
Roughly 120 individuals, who attended the event and in support of Woodman, sprang to their feet with applause.
With their help, Fairmont State raised about $10,000 Friday evening, including $500 via a live auction to decide who would eat dinner with Woodman and his wife, Kari. Proceeds from the event will go toward everything from helmets and pads to scholarships.
“We have a lot of need, especially in our situation where we are changing a lot of things,” Woodman said in an interview. “It’s going to be spread out and used for a lot of different things.”
Before he got the job at Fairmont State, Woodman coached at Louisiana State University, Florida State, California University (Pa.), Concord and most recently Bowie State, where his offense averaged more than 350 yards per game. But at the receptions, he called the Fairmont State position “the job I was made to do.”
He said Fairmont State is going to hold itself to Division I standards, something that is only possible with help from locals.
“I’ve said it 100 times. We’re only going to be as good as the support in the community is,” he said. “It’s the way small colleges operate. You need support from the community to fund outside of what you’re allowed by the school, which isn’t going to be enough.”
Jimmy Sears, who is the general manager at Westchester Village, reached out to Woodman several months ago and offered to organize the meet-and-greet. He had set up a similar event when basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun joined Fairmont State and thought it would be a good idea for the football team as well.
Sears said he invited friends from the business community and had no problem getting people to attend.
“People in Fairmont are so generous,” Sears said. “They’re willing to give anything that they can give. Our economy is not the greatest thing in the world, but they still continue to give. And that’s what Fairmont is about.”
At the event, Woodman introduced his coaching staff and discussed his plans for the upcoming season. While he downplayed expectations for his first season, Sears and others already have their hopes.
Sears: “Hopefully in the next years, he’s going to build a dynasty at Fairmont State to take us back to where we always should have been.”
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @mikedefabotwv.
Jason Woodman’s coaching career has taken him all over.
- Fairmont State Sports
Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State
In its biggest game of the season to date Fairmont State suffered its worst performance.
Fifth-seeded FSU shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), including a dismal 8-of-33 showing (24.2 percent) in the second half and as a result fell, 71-59, to fourth-seeded West Virginia State in the quarterfinals of the first Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament here Thursday night at the Charleston Civic Center.
Falcons hope for tournament run
Since day one, making another post-season run has been at the top of Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun’s mind.
Last season the Falcons went three-for-four in the WVIAC Tournament, falling to West Liberty in the tournament’s final game. The strong run, though, propelled the Falcons into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed.
FSU women roll in MEC Tourney opener
Fifth-seeded Fairmont State didn't waste any time Tuesday night punching its ticket for Charleston and earning a berth in the Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.
Wimbush named MEC Freshman of the Year
Thomas Wimbush has been named Mountain East Conference Freshman of the Year, as announced by the league office this afternoon. Wimbush also joined teammates Stevie Browning and Brendan Cooper on the MEC second team.
FSU women to open MEC Tournament
When Fairmont State’s women’s basketball team toppled Shepherd, 103-80, Saturday, coach Steve McDonald didn’t know who his team would face.
Falcons edge Shepherd, earn first-round bye: PHOTOS
The scenario Saturday afternoon on Senior Day for Fairmont State's men's basketball team in its regular-season finale against visiting Shepherd University was pretty simple.
Win and receive an automatic first-round bye in the upcoming Mountain East Conference Basketball Tournament. Lose and host a first-round game Tuesday night at the Joe Retton Arena.
Innocent, Garrett star as Lady Falcons roll: PHOTOS
Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Joe Retton Arena Fairmont State senior Brianna Innocent was anything but that against visiting Shepherd University.
The 6-foot-1 backup center came off the bench and torched the Lady Rams in the regular-season finale for 27 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help lead FSU to a 103-80 victory.
COLUMN: Senior season comes full circle for FSU’s Innocent
In like a lion, out like a lamb. That old adage could be used to describe Bri Innocent’s senior season with Fairmont State.
Not to say that she finished her season quietly. Quite the opposite actually.
In her first game in a Falcon uniform, she played like a lion, pouring in 20 points and ripping down 10 rebounds.
FSU looks to close regular season with win
Fairmont State University’s men’s basketball team closed practice on Thursday the way it hopes to close out the regular season today at home against Shepherd at 4 p.m., directly following the women’s contest at 2 p.m.
Sophomore guard Stevie Browning went head-to-head with graduate student assistant coach Sidney Crist in a 3-point shootout.
FSU offering $1 tickets for Saturday’s games
The Fairmont State athletic department will be offering a $1 general admission ticket to any fan that donates a non-perishable food or personal care item at Saturday’s basketball doubleheader against Shepherd.
The doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. with the women’s game and will be followed by the men’s contest at approximately 4 p.m.
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- Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State