We have all heard stories of fortune favoring the unsuspecting. You know, those tales of serendipity when a heartbroken individual seems to randomly cross paths with the one who will become the love of their life. Or when a homeowner purchases a property that needs a little TLC only to discover a hidden treasure in the backyard. In the case of Bethune-Cookman and its vacant head football coaching position, that hidden blessing could very well be Raymond Woodie.
To cut straight to the point, BETHUNE-COOKMAN NEEDS TO HIRE RAYMOND WOODIE. Yes we used all caps and yes the decision is that simple in my mind. BCU should offer Woodie the job and bug him until they get an answer.
It makes too much sense. It’s almost a no-brainer in fact. Raymond Woodie feels like the right hire for a multitude of reasons.
I am fully aware that there are several capable and highly qualified coaches who are still interested in the job but Coach Woodie checks many boxes others just simply do not.
First, he is a Wildcat. Check that…he is a Wildcat legend.
Woodie was a two time All-American at both safety and linebacker. If you ever remind Coach Woodie about his All-American honors, he will quickly remind you that he was also an Academic All-American and at the time of his departure, BCU’s single season sack leader with 14.5 in 1994.
I never advocate for hiring an alum just for the sake of hiring an alum, but when considering all of the uproar around the program as well as the dissonance and almost post-traumatic reflexes many alumni seem to suffer from currently, Coach Woodie could serve as an emotional healing balm for the school’s supporters. That might be an over-exaggeration of things but Cookman people need something to feel excited about and Woodie provides that. BCU folks need to be able to celebrate BCU folks right now.
In fact, before the Ed Reed fallout, before the Roland Martin hyperattention and before the dozens of editorials on the status of Bethune-Cookman, HailWildcats.com polled the fans on who should replace Terry Sims as head coach. Our November 2022 poll received over 1,800 votes and Raymond Woodie was the overwhelming fan favorite. Woodie received nearly half of the votes while interestingly enough, Ed Reed who was also mentioned in that poll, received the lowest vote total (around 7%).
Second, he is a heck of a recruiter and he is proven.
Just how good of a recruiter is Coach Woodie, check out the guys he signed while at Oregon, Florida State, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky: Tyler Higbee, Asante Samuels Jr, Forest Lamp, Dede Lattimore are just some of the names Coach Woodie landed.
Woodie was ranked as the No. 2 recruiter in the ACC by 247Sports in 2018 despite having less than two months to recruit for the Seminoles after he was hired. Rivals named him as the top recruiter in the Sun Belt in 2012, top recruiter in the AAC in 2014 and top recruiter in the PAC-12 in 2017.
Good teams are loaded with good players and Woodie signs great players.
Woodie’s defenses posted pretty good stats while at Florida State and Oregon too. At FSU where he coached linebackers in 2018, opponents were held to 3.5 yards rushing per carry. That number was second in the ACC. He served as linebacker coach and special teams coordinator for the Ducks in 2017. Oregon finished in the Top 25 nationally in turnovers forced and rushing defense under Woodie.
He is a fundraiser.
Raymond Woodie led Palmetto High School to the District Championship in 2008. He also designed and raised $1.2 million for a new field house for the Palmetto football program that year.
It just makes sense.
It’s hard to imagine a better candidate for the BCU job considering Woodie is Cookman-Man, with a proven record as a recruiter, coach and fundraiser. It. Just. Makes. Sense.