Interview: Joe Woods

Joe Woods is in his second year as Western Michigan's cornerbacks coach. He sits down with us to discuss the 2002 season and breaks down the players he thinks will make an impact. He also discusses the changes he is seeing in recruiting with WMU's recent success and increased exposure.

What do you have the guys working on this summer?
The main things they are working on are agility and speed drills. Trying to be as explosive as they can for the season.

How are the cornerbacks shaping up right now?
It is a 5 to 6 man race. I'd say in order it would be Sam Reynolds, Tony Carr, Mike Johnson, Willie Pope and Kevin Coleman. Eugene Childs will be in there too this fall, he arrived just this summer.

What can we expect from you as a coach now that you are in your second year?
I am still adjusting to the system. This is a system installed by Garry Patterson, the head coach at TCU. I went down to a three-day camp they put on this summer and it was excellent. Some other schools that run the same defense were there like Arizona State and Kentucky.

What are your early thoughts about the season?
We can beat anyone if we execute our scheme, I really believe that. We just need to do the things we can do and make sure there are no mistakes.

You mentioned Eugene Childs, what do you anticipate from him this fall?
He played wide receiver in high school and was recruited by some big schools like Oregon State and BYU and played a season at BYU. He then went the junior college route and we were fortunate enough to get him to come here. The thing that stands out with him is that he has tremendous athleticism. That is what we like. We can then have him evolve in our system.

Compare the cornerback position in 2002 with that of 2001
I think we will be pretty equal. We don't have as much experience this year but I think I have a lot more being in my second year.

Any other new players who could be in the mix this fall?
We have Jimmie Vincent coming in as a true freshman but I'd like to red shirt him if possible.

How did you end up at Western?
I knew Kyle Nystrom and when the opening came up he called me. I was one of three interviewed and was fortunate enough to get the position.

What are your goals long term in coaching?
I'm one of those guys that just wants to be the best defensive back coach I can be right now. I don't put myself on a schedule where I have to be a defensive coordinator by the age of 35 or a head coach by the age of 40, etc.

Anything that you feel wasn't addressed in spring ball that you need to focus on in the fall?
I'd say we have a few things to add in the fall, primarily getting our technique better.

Any particular players you are expecting big things out of?
I'd say Sam Reynolds, he is looking very strong and I think he'll have a great season for us.

What are the areas that you are responsible for recruiting?
I recruit Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw.

While recruiting are you seeing Western Michigan become more prominent from the recruit's perspective?
Definitely, I am seeing them at a much higher level than the past. Dominic Moran, a recruit from Rochester Hills this past year, chose us over several Big Ten schools. This year we have television games against Virginia Tech and Michigan at a minimum so I see us doing even better in the future.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories