North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Northwest Guilford Football Coach Leaving

         Northwest Guilford High School has announced that head varsity football coach Joe Woodruff will be leaving Northwest at the end of the school year to take the head football coaching job at Big Rapids HS in Big Rapids, Michigan. 

         The announcement came in a press release from the school.

         Coach Woodruff and his wife Patti are Michigan natives and, along with children Abbey and Brady, are looking forward to returning to their home state.  Joe began his coaching and teaching career in Michigan in 1989, leaving in 2006 for a brief stop in Florida before coming to North Carolina and Northwest in 2007.

         While at Northwest for the past seven years as head football coach, Coach Woodruff had a record of 51-33 along with two conference coach of the year awards and was also selected Coach of the Week in North and South Carolina by the Carolina Panthers.  His teams won conference championships three times and made the state playoffs six out of the seven years he was at Northwest.  To put this in perspective, only once in the 50-year history of the school has a Northwest team won a conference championship in football before Coach Woodruff arrived in 2007. 

        The 2013 season was the highlight of Woodruff’s tenure at Northwest.  The 2013 team finished with a school all-time best 12 wins while beating perennial North Carolina powerhouses Page and Richmond County in home playoff games.  The team would lost in the third round to 4-AA state champion and nationally ranked Mallard Creek.

        John Hughes, athletic director at Northwest Guilford, said, “Beyond the wins and championships, Coach Woodruff and his coaching staff have had an immense impact on the young men in the football program.  The football program under his leadership was like a family atmosphere, with young men learning significant life lessons each season and the coaching staff working hand and hand to assist. 

       “Above all, he preached the values of hard work, fundamental play, honesty, and integrity to his players while never compromising these values to win football games.  He is a tremendous husband, father, coach, and role model that will be missed at Northwest High and in the surrounding community.  For the past seven years since Joe arrived at Northwest, we had an outstanding football program that the school and community can be proud of.  While he will be difficult to replace, the future has never been so encouraging for our football program because work he did and the legacy he will leave at Northwest.”