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Ricky Woods photo
Ricky Woods photo
Ricky Woods
Hometown: Choctaw County, MS
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One of the most accomplished championship football coaches in Mississippi history, Coach Ricky Woods guided gridiron programs at Ethel, Eupora, Ackerman, South Panola, Northwest CC, Bainbridge (GA), Peabody (Trenton, TN), and Starkville. Ricky hails from Choctaw County and received his college degree at Mississippi State in 1982. Coach Woods has been a member of the coaching profession for 34 years. After serving as head football coach at Ethel, he arrived at Eupora where he coached from 1990 to 1994, leading his 1993 team to a South State runner-up finish. He led the Ackerman program from 1995 to 2001 where his Indians had 2 state runner-up finishes in 1996 and 2000 and won 2 Class 2A State Championships in 1997 and 2001. In 2002, he was named head coach at South Panola in Batesville and built a football dynasty that continues to dominate Mississippi high school football to this date. Coach Woods led his Tigers to an amazing 74-1 record including an unprecedented 60-game winning streak from 2002 to 2006. After a state runner-up finish in 2001, Ricky’s gridiron squads claimed 4 consecutive Class 5A State Championships with perfect 15-0 records in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006 with USA Today national rankings each season. Coach Wood’s Tiger teams earned the nickname for the school as the “University of South Panola.” In 2007, Ricky moved to Bainbridge High in Bainbridge, Georgia, where he guided his squad to the state quarterfinals and a record of 9-4 in one short season. He returned to Mississippi in 2008 where he coached the Northwest CC Rangers football teams to a 35-13 record in 5 seasons including 2 North Division MACJC titles, an unbeaten regular season in 2010 with a no. 6 national ranking, and the team’s first bowl win in 20 years at the 2012 Brazos Valley Bowl in College Station, Texas. Named head coach at Peabody High in Trenton, Tennessee, in 2013, he led his team to the 2014 Class 2A state championship with a 13-2 mark. Ricky returned to Mississippi in 2015 and guided the Starkville Yellowjackets to the Class 5A State Championship with a 14-1 ledger and a USA Today national ranking. Overall, Coach Woods has paced his gridiron squads to 284 wins and 63 losses. His legendary football teams have won 13 regional or district titles, had 17 playoff appearances with 3 state runner-up finishes, captured 3 South State crowns and 7 North state titles, and won an incredible 8 State Championships (2 at Ackerman, 4 at South Panola, 1 at Peabody, and 1 at Starkville). Ricky has received numerous coaching awards during his career as he is a 5-time MAC High School Football Coach of the Year and a 2-time Jackson Clarion Ledger Coach of the Year. His other coaching honors include the MHSAA, the MACJC, the George Sekul CC Coach of the Year, the Gerald Ford All American High School coach of the Year, the Schutt Sports SW Region, the EA Sports National Coach of the Year, and the NFHS Mississippi Coach of the Year. Ricky has the rare distinction of being named the Clarion Ledger Coach for the Decade for the span of 2000 to 2010. Coach Woods is a two-time head coach of the Bernard Blackwell All Star Classic in 1994 and 1999, and served as head coach for Mississippi in the 2005 Mississippi/Alabama All Star football classic. He also was head coach for the North in the MACJC All Star game in 2010.