PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore athletics program is pleased to announce the signing of Benjamin H. Woods Jr. as the new coach of the men's and women's tennis teams, it was announced Wednesday.
Woods inherits the teams from previous head coach, Dr. James Heimdal, who oversaw the program last season. The position will be the first for Woods at the collegiate level. He will have a handful of key players returning from last year's team, including several of the women's contingent and 2012 Most Valuable Player, Malcolm Johnson (Silver Spring, Md.).
Despite the recent struggles, Woods is certain that he can turn things around at UMES.
"I am truly grateful and excited for this opportunity," said Woods. "I'm looking forward to guiding the tennis teams and helping the athletics department in continuing to build the Hawk tennis program. I look forward to helping the players get the most out of their games and those same players bring out my best as we start to work as a team and reach our goals."
Woods brings a plethora of tennis coaching experience to the Hawks. Prior to joining the Hawks, Woods spent 13 years as the head tennis coach at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md. His tenure with WCHS saw him guide the pair of teams to 13 MCPS County titles and eight MCPS Division I championships. In addition, he coached seven MPSSAA singles high school champions, where three women and four men were crowned during his 13 years. He coached three boys doubles teams to MPSSAA during those seasons. He has seen many of his former players land roster spots at the Division I, II and III levels.
The North Potomac, Md., native has racked up numerous awards and accolades across his career. In 2003, he was named Washington Post All-Met Girls Coach of the Year, Montgomery Journal Girls Coach of the Year, Sentinel Girls Coach of the Year and All-Examiner Coach of the Year in 2005. Woods also took home the Montgomery All-Gazette Girls Coach of the Year in 2009.
Woods also carries an impressive educational background. He completed an undergraduate degree in information management systems from the University of Maryland, University College, as well as a masters of science graduate degree in management information systems from Bowie State University.
Woods adheres to the "positive coaching alliance" theory; a philosophy on individual development that is used to create team building experiences for player's growth and development. He is also an advocate on everything being about the team, being prepared and to give it your all, win or lose.
"You are always looking for challenges," said Woods. "I had a nice run where I was at before, but am really excited about turning things around here. This is a great opportunity. I think everyone is ready to put in the right effort and there is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Everyone is excited about elevating their game and expanding with the team."