SENATOBIA, Miss. (WTVA/NWCC Athletics) – Northwest head football coach Ricky Woods is stepping down from his position after a successful five seasons with the Rangers.
Woods told the players he was stepping down during a team meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Rangers went (8-2) during the 2012 season, reaching the MACJC Playoffs and winning the school's first bowl game in 20 years. When the final NJCAA poll was released Monday, Northwest closed at No. 9, marking a second Top 10 finish in three seasons.
"I've enjoyed my time here at Northwest especially with the coaching staff and young men," Woods said. "I've got two young grandkids I'd like to spend a little more time with. I'm not closing any doors for future coaching opportunities, but I just need a little time off."
Northwest Athletic Director Cameron Blount recognized Woods and his contributions the past five years.
"We thank Ricky for his five years of service at Northwest and appreciate all his effort and hard work with the Ranger football program. We wish him the best in the future."
Woods compiled a (35-13) overall record as head coach and finished (24-6) in division play with two north titles and two runner-up finishes. He was named the 2010 MACJC Coach of the Year after leading Northwest to an undefeated regular season and the Rangers' first Top 10 finish since 1999.
His 35 wins and .729 win percentage each rank second all-time behind NJCAA Hall of Fame coach Bobby Ray Franklin.
"Coach Woods brought Northwest back into the national spotlight and constantly put a winning football team on the field," President Dr. Gary Lee Spears said. "We're grateful to coach Woods for his outstanding leadership and success with our storied football program."
Woods had six wins versus ranked opponents during his stay, with victories over No. 2 Gulf Coast, No. 8 Pearl River, No. 11 Kilgore, No. 13 Pearl River, No. 18 Jones County and No. 20 Itawamba.
A total of 37 of Woods' former players have gone on to play at four-year schools, including (most recently) Donald Hawkins (Texas), Lance Ray (East Carolina), Jamal Mosley (Ole Miss) and Myles White (Louisiana Tech). Seven former players have been named NJCAA All-Americans.
A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.