400-meter relay broke its own school record to earn a finals berth
Iowa City native and World Champion runner Joey Woody is in his third season as an assistant coach with the University of Iowa track team. His main area of concentration is the men's sprints, short hurdles and relays, and women's long sprints and hurdles.
In his first two seasons with the Hawkeyes, Woody has made an immediate impact on the team. Last season sophomore Ray Varner earned his second all-region honor in the 400-meter hurdles after making a strong run at the Big Ten title in that event. Both 1,600-meter relays and the outdoor 400-meter relay each earned top five finishes at the Big Ten Championships.
In 2007, Varner and the 400-meter relay team of juniors Max Milder, Aaron Reed and Lee Elbert, and freshman Paul Chaney, Jr. earned all-region honors. Chaney, Jr., Varner, junior sprinter Prince Riley and the 1,600-meter relay of senior David Pierre, Elbert, Varner and Riley all scored team points for the Hawkeyes at the Big Ten Championships.
Woody joined Iowa's full-time staff after serving as a volunteer assistant coach with the Hawkeye sprinters and middle distance runners in 2006. He also served as sports performance director and co-owner of Velocity Sports Performance in Cedar Rapids (2005-06).
During the past decade Woody has run competitively on the international track circuit, earning a spot on three United States World teams. In 2003, he won the silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the World Championships and was ranked second in the world in the event. Woody was also part of the 1,600-meter relay which won the World Championships gold medal in 1999. In 2000, he ran on the 3,200-meter relay which set a world record and he missed qualifying for the United States Olympic team by .37 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles.
Woody was a four-time all-American at Northern Iowa, winning the 1997 NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles. He was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 2002. He is the only athlete in Drake Relays history to win the Athlete of the Meet award in high school (1992) and college (1994). Woody earned a B.A. in public relations and communications from UNI in 1997, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in physical education with an exercise science emphasis.
He served as assistant coach for men and women's track at UNI for five seasons (1997-2002). During that time the Panthers won six Missouri Valley Conference team titles, including the first-ever women's title in 2002. He coached one individual all-American and assisted in coaching two all-American relays.
Woody and his wife, Heather, have two children, Drake (6) and Isabelle (4). Heather was an all-conference track student-athlete at Northern Iowa, and currently owns Heather Woody Unlimited, INC., which is a corporate and personal success coaching practice.