ST. PARIS — A.J. Woods accepted the head football coaching position at Graham High School recently and has already begun his work preparing for the upcoming season.
Woods, 27, of South Charleston, spent a year as a volunteer assistant at Southeastern before acting as a varsity assistant last year at Graham.
“The first thing we have to do is change the culture,” Woods said.
Graham is 10-40 over the past five seasons.
“That’s a rough five years. We’ve been preaching a lot of discipline and hard work,” Woods said. “The things we can control, we have to make sure they are perfected.”
Woods said he doesn’t subscribe to the notion of rebuilding.
“I always have high expectations,” he said. “I go into every game thinking and knowing that we can win the game. I expect to be competing for the league. There’s no reason to just give in to a 3-7 or 2-8 record.
“These kids at Graham have never won in high school. We weren’t the doormat of the league, but we were close. And you don’t want to be down there. That’s tough for me to handle, as a coach.”
Woods will bring a simplified playbook to the program with hopes that it will help speed up the game.
“You can play faster because the kids understand,” he said. “If the kids know what they’re doing, they’ll play faster and more aggressive.”
Woods graduated from Wright State in 2011 with a degree in education and is expecting a child with his wife Ashley sometime in November.