May 2nd, 2014

Hyland's Heroes: Mark Woods

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: Mark Woods
Mark Woods is the male on the right / photo submitted by the Woods family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to

Mark Woods is a coach and athletic board member at St Stephen Martyr. He is married to Jamie Kapp Woods, and he is father of Madison, Josie and Cooper. He played Soccer, Baseball, and ran track and cross country at Iroquois High School, where he graduated in 1985.

Woods played soccer at Kentucky Wesleyan College. He has coached all three of his children at St. Stephen Martyr in many sports. His daughters now play basketball for Mercy Academy. He has mainly coached girls’ sports, but he is now focused on boys' athletics at SSM as his son Cooper is now in the 4th grade.

1) When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so? 

I started coaching in the CSAA in 2008. My oldest daughter Madi played basketball and volleyball at St Stephen Martyr and Rick Laemmle asked me to coach with him. Rick and I met as our daughters played in house at SSM K-2.

2) Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

I have always loved coaching and had gotten to know most of the girls so it was a great opportunity.

3) What sports did you coach and for how long?  

I began coaching while playing soccer at Kentucky Wesleyan. Long ago you were allowed to be paid while still competing in college. So I was asked to coach an Owensboro Select soccer team. Since then I have coached softball at Germantown, Hikes Point and Okolona. Both slow and fast pitch, All Star teams and State champs. At SSM I have had the privilege of coaching Softball, Soccer, Football, Volleyball, and Basketball.

4) What's the connection with your faith (stewardship) and giving your time to young student athletes?  

I think it’s important to give back to our Parish, and I get to do that in a way that's very rewarding personally. I enjoy giving my time to help the kids, not just my own, to mature in a positive way and learn life lessons through sports. It’s very rewarding seeing them grow into young adults in a productive way.

5) Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why? 

Ed Farrar, my coach and Biology teacher at Iroquois High. He is a motivating and caring man who can teach and coach in a calm and uplifting manner without belittling and berating young men and women.

6) What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  My main goals are to

1. Help each player become a better player by seasons end.

2. Have fun.

3. Grow as an individual

4. Play as a team.

5. Achieve first four goals and still win.

7) What does coaching bring to you, your family? 

Stress but our entire family enjoys sports and I love to coach. My family makes sacrifices for each other and they all do so that so I can continue coaching. I have found it’s a lot easier to be coaching than to sit in the stands and watch. Watching my daughters in high school now is very stressful.

8) What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching? 

Back to back CSAA city championships in girls basketball and I’m now seeing many of those young ladies compete in High School.



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