Mike Woods hasn’t been a head coach since Hurricane Katrina.
So Woods more than welcomed the opportunity that came Tuesday when he was named head baseball coach at Fontainebleau.
“It’s been a long wait, but it’s been worth the wait,” Woods said. “I have been able to learn a lot more, so it’s well appreciated. It’s good to be back as a head coach.”
Woods will replace Mike Lavin, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Woods, a 1978 Brother Martin graduate, served as Lavin’s assistant the past five years when the school won three district titles.
In addition to serving as a baseball assistant, Woods has been an assistant football coach at Fontainebleau for nine years and has also worked as an assistant with the track and wrestling teams.
“Mike is a guy that has been loyal to our school,” said Barry Dotson, Fontainebleau’s athletic director. “He knows the direction of the program, and he knows the kids. He worked with coach Lavin and (former) coach Brian Babin, and that’s all a positive for us.”
It’s Woods first head coaching job in over a decade.
He was head baseball coach at now-defunct Abramson High School for three years and also served as the head football coach from February-August 2005 until Katrina.
“Mike has the respect of the school community and has earned the chance to lead our baseball program,” Dotson said. “ He is a role model to our students and truly understands the level of responsibility and accountability that student-athletes are held to at Fontainebleau. We are confident that coach Woods will continue to direct the baseball program to the level of expectations set by his predecessors.”
Woods will continue in role as a football assistant, where he coaches wide receivers. But his primary focus will be baseball.
“My goal is to continue the success we have had in the program in the past,” Woods said.
The Bulldogs finished 17-13 this past season after winning the District 6-5A crown. A No. 27 seed, the Bulldogs lost 3-2 in the bidistrict round of the playoffs to No. 5 seed St. Amant, which went on to reach the Class 5A semifinals.
The Bulldogs, who will be senior-laden, are expected to be even better in 2015.
“We have about 13 seniors returning in our program,” Woods said. “We are expecting a lot out of them. Most have been playing since their sophomore year, so we should be well-seasoned with a lot of leadership. I’m looking forward to it.”