Jack Wood – 2012 ALFCA Lifetime Achievement Award

November 30, 2012

Many men have coached high school football in Alabama but few have put their personal stamp on it as many different ways as Coach Jack Wood.  A graduate of Wetumpka High School and Auburn University, Coach Wood spent the first ten years of his coaching career on the staff at Auburn High School.  

    In 1983 at the age of 34, he was named head football coach at Hewitt Trussville High School. There was a lot of work to be done.  Hewitt Trussville had won only 17 games in the previous 7 seasons. The Huskies had accomplished a winning season in only 4 of the previous 20 years.  Jack immediately showed his ability to organize and build.  He worked to get the entire city involved in Husky football and the community spirit in Trussville grew each year.  He had an eye for young coaching talent and assembled some outstanding coaches on his staff.  In that first season, Hewitt Trussville earned its first playoff win, a 13-8 victory over Coffee.  There were a lot of close losses in those first years.  In 1986 and 1987 The Huskies had the first 9 win seasons in school history. By 1990 Hewitt was finally ready to go deep into the playoffs. Victories over Scottsboro, Butler and Gardendale thrust Hewitt Trussville into the semi finals, only to lose to eventual champion Jess Lanier.  In 1991 Coach Wood’s veer offense and 4-4 defense gave the team its first #1 ranking by mid October.  The Huskies allowed only 19 points in its first 7 games and finished at 10-2.   The following season  2 close regular season losses had toughened the Huskies.  Using a hard hitting defense and the running of Tim Cannada, the team dispatched 3 playoff opponents before defeating a talented Central of Tuscaloosa team 15-13.  Hewitt Trussville was in its first state championship game. On Saturday, December 12, 1992 the whole community of Trussville surrounding the team buses as the Huskies headed for Legion Field to face the defending champion Lee Generals from Montgomery. Although the team lost a hard fought defensive battle 14-0, Coach Jack Wood was the State Coach of the Year and had established Hewitt Trussville as one of the most respected programs in the state. Winning seasons continued. In 1996 the Huskies won 10 games and in 2001, QB Brandon Cox led an offense that scored a school record 443 points and the team finished 10-2. Coach Wood retired after the 2001 season with 15 playoff appearances in 19 years and five 10 win seasons.  During his coaching career he served on the AHSAA Central Board and represented Alabama on the National Federation Board of Coaches. The Huskies football stadium was renamed Jack Wood Stadium in 1998 and he was elected to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2011, he was elected to the first class of the Hewitt Trussville Hall of Fame.

   But his contribution to high school football was far from over. After retiring he went to work for Dr. Larry Lemak as Outreach Coordinator for Lemak Sports Medicine.  He has worked tirelessly in the Birmingham area promoting sports safety among the area’s high schools. In 2005 he became the first executive director of a newly formed coaches group called the ALFCA.  This group was dedicated to promoting football in the state. Coach Wood immediately began securing sponsors for the new organization. He raised monies and established scholarship programs for children of coaches and students who intend on going into coaching.  He established a certificate program for All State winners; worked with the ALFCA board to present not only Coach of the year awards for the head coaches but for the assistants as well. Four years ago the ALFCA established a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor the great coaches of the past. Each year the ALFCA comes together on Montgomery to train the next generation of coaches and talk about issues concerning the state under the direction of the former Husky coach.  Jack Wood has truly become the voice for high school football in the state of Alabama.  No one has ever done more for football coaches and players in our state than Jack Wood.