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When David Woodard was 20, he kept a promise he had made to his grandfather who passed away five years earlier to become the first in his family to graduate from college. Keeping that promise meant forgoing an offered Major League Baseball contract after the Kansas City Royals drafted him.
Now, Woodard is in his thirties, an eight-year eighth grade American History teacher at Guymon Junior High School, and now taking on another job doing something he loves -- coaching baseball at Guymon High School.
Following a four-year absence from coaching at GHS, Woodard is returning as head coach of the Guymon Tiger baseball team.
The Guymon Board of Education approved the appointment of Woodard to to the position during a special meeting Monday.
Woodard will take over coaching duties formerly held by Dave OâSullivan, who has relocated to Florida.
He was head coach of the Tiger baseball program for three seasons, from 2006-08, after serving as assistant coach under coach Herman Alvarez.
When Woodard left the position, then athletic director Dan Turner took over as head baseball coach for one year. Then OâSullivan took the helm.
Originally from Thornton, Colo., 10 miles North of Denver, Woodard graduated from Skyview High School in 1995, where he played baseball. Then played at Trinidad Junior College in Colorado for two years, where he was playing shortstop when the Royals drafted him. He made the JCAA All-American Team that year.
After Trinidad, Woodard played his third year of college baseball at the University of South Dakota and his senior year at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, where he graduated in 2000.
He is currently working on a Masters in Educational Leadership through Northwestern Oklahoma State University by taking ITV classes at OPSU. He will receive his degree in 2013.
Woodard responded to a question about regrets for not signing with the Royals.
âI often think about it I try not to live my life without any regrets. Iâll never know,â he said.
Since leaving his coaching position at GHS, Woodard has coached 147 local kids from age 4 through high school from a baseball school he has run from his home for four years -- Woodard Baseball Academy.
âI transfer my backyard into a baseball facility. Itâs pretty awesome, Most of the kids Iâll be coaching have gone through it at one time or another,â Woodard said.
âTheyâre not out getting into trouble anywhere else,â he said.
âIâm not sure how many kids we are going to have. There is a good possibility that at one time or another I have had them either for coaching or in eighth grade history,â Woodard said.
âIâm psyched,â Woodard said of his return to the head coaching position at GHS.
Woodard is not the first head coach hired since OâSullivanâs departure after the last school year.
The school board approved the hiring of Mike Haskell on June 11, a veteran coach from Texas with 22 years experience. Haskell later decided he did not want the job in Guymon.
Other coaching positions
Guymon Public Schools announced in late February that Chapman and former head girls basketball coach Tim Hofferber resigned their basketball coaching duties. Guymon Public Schools Superintendent Doug Melton declined to discuss the resignations in February, saying they were a personnel issue.
Hofferber finished the school year as a physical education teacher at GHS. He begins a new position as a physical education teacher and girls basketball coach at Ulysses High School in Kansas this fall.
In March, the school board voted to rehire Chapman as athletic director and several existing GHS coaches for the 2012-2013 school year.
The district has named Guymon Central Junior High School teacher and GHS softball assistant coach Troy Cox as head varsity boys basketball coach. He replaces Chapman in that coaching position. Cox remains as an assistant softball coach under Coach Wesley Bryson.
The school board approved the appointment Amanda Boggs as GHS head girls basketball coach and science teacher on July 9. Boggs, a former OPSU basketball player, taught and coached in Texline, Texas, the last two years.
Kyle Davis has stepped down as girls golf coach. He remains as an assistant football coach. The girls golf position remains unfilled.
The board also voted on Monday to hire Randy Swain as an elementary school physical education teacher and assistant football coach, Mark Rutledge as a junior high school math teacher and coach, Amanda Frederick as a high school social studies teacher, Conrad Cook as an agriculture teacher, and approved a $1,500 salary increase for Superintendent Doug Melton.
All of the personnel actions followed a closed executive session.