It s been 10 years since Jeff Wood has served as a head football coach at an area high school.
But Wood, who was named the coach at Bedford, feels he s a better coach than when he was in charge at Genoa in 1998-99.
Since leaving Genoa, Wood served as an assistant coach at Erie Mason from 2000-03, where he worked under head coach John Wachsmuth and his father, LeRoy Wood, who was the defensive coordinator for the Eagles. In his final season at Erie Mason, the Eagles posted a 12-1 record and advanced to the state semifinals of the Division 5 playoffs.
My time [at Erie Mason] was extremely important, because I learned so much there, Jeff Wood said. Jack Wachsmuth showed me how to run a program. I didn t know if I ever wanted to be a head coach again, and those guys told me I needed to get back into coaching.
Wood, who was 12-8 in two seasons at Genoa, has served as a baseball coach at Ypsilanti, Dundee and Erie Mason inrecent seasons.
Last year Wood served as defensive coordinator for Bedford under Craig Trychel.
The Mules were 3-6 last season and 20-43 in seven seasons under Trychel.
I ve been a teacher here for 10 years, and I was on the staff last year, so I ve been able to talk to a lot of people about the challenges of this program, Wood said.
The first challenge Wood has tackled is raising the participation levels in the program.
In grades 9 through 12 we ve had 40 more kids come out than in past years, Wood said. But we also want a program where kids grow and become outstanding citizens. We want them to set goals, then make plans to achieve those goals.
We ve got more kids in the weight room, but that s just the tip of the iceberg. We re also trying to develop a different culture, a different attitude, about this program.