One text message turned the inevitable into reality.|
Moments after the Moline School Board approved his hiring as the varsity football coach on Monday night, Matt Woods was sent a text informing him of the outcome. Once the red tape was cleared, the career football assistant officially was a head coach for the first time.
"I feel relieved," Woods said. "I feel good. I'm ready to get to work."
On the other side, Moline is anxious for Woods to start.
"He knows what he has to do to make it happen," Moline athletic director Todd Rosenthal said. "He's been around football a long time. We think he's the right coach."
Woods, a Moline High School counselor and 1991 Alleman graduate, spent the previous nine seasons as a running backs coach in the program. When Crick Sant Amour resigned as the Moline head coach in late November, he felt the time was right to take the next step in his career.
The search committee saw the enthusiasm Woods had for the job, leaving an impression after the interview.
"Matt just shined," Rosenthal said.
What also helped was his background in the Western Big 6 Conference as both a player and coach.
"That comes into play," Rosenthal said. "We're excited to see what Matt can do."
Rosenthal said Woods was selected from candidates from both "inside and outside" the school district. He would not get into specifics regarding applicants and finalists but did say "we went through the process of interviewing all our in-house candidates."
When it came time to make a recommendation, Woods separated himself.
"Whatever he does," Rosenthal said, "we're confident he'll do a good job."
Woods carries confidence into the position as well. A decorated playing career and extended coaching stints give him the tools needed to succeed.
Better yet, he moves forward as a head coach for the first time.
"You're more committed," Woods said. "Even as an assistant, you're committed. But now your name is on the line."
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