Christmas came a little early for Jason Woodman.
The 33-year-old Marion County native was introduced to the media and public for the first time Saturday afternoon inside the Feaster Center’s Joe Retton Arena as Fairmont State University’s new football coach.
It’s the first head coaching job for the North Marion High School and FSU graduate who most recently served as the offensive coordinator for Bowie State (Md.) University for the past two years and prior to that had stops at LSU, Florida State, California (Pa.) University and Concord University.
“I don’t think it’s hit home for me just yet because these last few days have been pretty hectic, but I feel very blessed and honored to be here and have this opportunity,” said Woodman, who had a large number of family members, friends and people from the community in attendance. “Obviously I’m excited, anxious and ready to jump right in and get things rolling, but with the Christmas holiday I’m going to take a couple of days, catch my breath and then after that’s over to the wall we go.
“Then it’ll really hit me. I have to hire a staff, get busy recruiting, and I’m really looking forward to meeting and getting to know the players. They’re on break right now, but I know who some of them are and I had the opportunity to meet a couple of guys today.
“I think those guys share the same passion as I do. I’m sure a lot of them were unsure of some things and not real certain of what was going on, but the players I have met and spoken with are very positive about the future here and like me they’re ready to get started.”
Senior defensive linemen Anthony Domico and Jake Kelly and sophomore tight end Jakob Streyle were all in attendance Saturday and say they’re looking forward to the future at FSU under Woodman’s leadership.
“I’m excited,” said Domico. “My last four years here at Fairmont State have been great, but I’ve got one more year to get it done and I can’t wait. Coach Woodman seems like a good guy who has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. He said all of the right things, and I’m looking forward to playing for him.”
“I met him today for the first time and I got a real good first impression from him,” said Kelly. “He’s young, enthusiastic and really conducts himself in a professional manner. I can’t wait to get started again. It’s a new challenge for all of us here at Fairmont State, but it’s definitely one we’re all looking forward to.”
Woodman’s message to the returning FSU players is pretty straightforward and simple.
“We have a plan and a process we’re going to set in motion,” he said. “We want to set a tone here, and we want players who are going to buy into that. We want guys who want to be here, want to make Fairmont State successful and are willing to do everything right on a day-to-day basis.
“That’s really my No. 1 message to the team. We want players who want to be the best every single day in everything they do. We’re going to find those guys, show them the plan and then push them in the right direction, but ultimately they have to make the commitment as players and as student-athletes to do it. When they do, we’ll be fine.”
One of Woodman’s first big challenges will be hiring a staff. He’s already begun that process and promises to surround himself with quality people.
“I’m going to put together a staff that I guarantee has a lot of experience and knowledge and has been at the highest level,” he said. “I’m going to bring in people who are excited to be Falcons and who are winners. We’re going to set a high level of expectations, and we are going to hold ourselves accountable and our players accountable and we are going to do it every single day.
“It’s important for me as the head coach to surround myself with guys who have the same vision as I do. (FSU Board of Governors) Chairman Ron Tucker touched on the fact that our goal is to be in the upper tier of Division II football, and I think in order to do that you’ve got to bring in some people here who have experience in higher levels of football.
“Obviously I’d love to have some guys who have Division I or NFL coaching experience, but we’re going to do the best we can to find guys who at least have the same expectations as I do. I think having people who have been in or around successful programs and know what it takes and what your goals need to be day to day to achieve a high level of success is a key.”
FSU football players and students will return for classes for the spring semester on Monday, Jan. 14.
Christmas came a little early for Jason Woodman.
WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting
West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.
Holgorsen’s program hits turning point
You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.
WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees
Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
“Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”
Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success
In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant
Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.
Texas’ Strong prefers not talking about national title
Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.
The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships.
NMHS hopes new playing surface generates excitement
The St. Louis Rams coined the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” for their collective group or multiple Hall of Famer-caliber players in during the 1999-2001 seasons. If Rams can run on turf, why not Huskies?
FSU's Barfield, Jean-Charles named preseason All-Americans
Chris Barfield and Jacob Jean-Charles earn preseason honors by being named to the USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American team.
Baylor coach isn't buying schedule strength argument
The College Football Playoff committee has vowed that strength of schedule will be a major criteria when selecting the four teams.
Big 12 Commissioner says cheating pays
Big 12 Commissioner says the NCAA lacks the resources to enforce its rules and that has to change.
- More Sports Headlines
- WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting