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Performance > Participation
Woody continues to build Hawkeyes as director of track & field/cross country

July 1, 2014

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    Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.

    By DARREN MILLER
    hawkeyesports.com

    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Be patient if you're calling to congratulate Joey Woody on being named director of track and field/cross country at the University of Iowa.

    Beginning Tuesday, July 1, Woody intends to be on his phone often in an attempt to lure the top talent in the country -- and especially the top talent in the state of Iowa -- to become Hawkeyes.

    "We're going to be calling and visiting recruits and continuing to spread the word that Iowa City is a great place," Woody said. "I have lived in Iowa my whole life and I believe we can bring top talent throughout the country to the University of Iowa. We want to keep the instate kids here, too. With all the top talent, we want their first choice to be the University of Iowa."

    A long-time Hawkeye fan, Woody, 41, competed for Iowa City (Iowa) High School from 1989-92. From 1993-1997 he attended the University of Northern Iowa, where he became a four-time All-American and won the 1997 NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles. He served as assistant coach for men's and women's track and field at Northern Iowa from 1997-2002.

    The bond he formed with his collegiate coach continues to inspire Woody when he is recruiting.

    "To me, it's all about building relationships," Woody said. "That's a lifelong relationship. I still communicate with my (former) coach on a consistent basis. That's important."

    Woody becomes the second director of track and field/cross country at the UI, replacing Larry Wieczorek, who announced his retirement effective July 3. Wieczorek has been affiliated with the UI for four decades as a student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach, and director.





    "You have to step on the track and score some points and help this program move forward. The same with cross country. We have to have the ability to be a top contender in cross country. It comes down to the student-athletes understanding that when you come into this program, it's about performance and we're going to train you to be the best you can be and help this be a successful team."
    Joey Woody
    UI director of track & field/cross country


    "The timing is great," Woody said. "Coach Wieczorek has done a phenomenal job and been a committed person to this program for a long time and he has taken our program to a new level. My goal is to continue to build on what he has done, and I feel we can do a lot of great things here."

    Woody joined Iowa's full-time staff after serving as a volunteer assistant coach with the Hawkeye sprinters and middle distance runners in 2006. Woody has guided student-athletes to 10 Big Ten Conference individual titles, three Big Ten relay titles, and 33 All-America honors.

    The Hawkeyes have a coaching staff of Layne Anderson, Scott Cappos, Molly Jones, and Clive Roberts. There is an opening to hire an assistant coach as well as a director of operations.

    "To be able to have that position will allow our coaches to do even more on the track and on the field," Woody said of the director of operations position.

    Woody hopes to hire a coach to assist him in sprints, hurdles, and relay events. That position will also oversee a bulk of recruiting.

    "Everything starts with recruiting and making sure you're recruiting the right student-athletes to the program," Woody said.

    Woody brings a "perform, don't participate" philosophy to a program that last won a Big Ten Conference outdoor track and field championship in 2011.

    "When they put on that Hawkeye uniform and step on the track it's all about performing at the highest level in track and field and cross country," Woody said. "That's what it's going to take to be a member of this team.

    "You have to step on the track and score some points and help this program move forward. The same with cross country. We have to have the ability to be a top contender in cross country. It comes down to the student-athletes understanding that when you come into this program, it's about performance and we're going to train you to be the best you can be and help this be a successful team."

    Last season the Hawkeye men's cross country team placed 10th of 11 teams at the Big Ten Championships; the women were 12th of 12. In indoor track and field, the UI women were eighth of 11 and the men were 10th of 11. During the outdoor season, the Hawkeye women tied for fourth of 11 teams with 86 points; the men were seventh of 11 with 66 points.

    Woody has also run competitively internationally, 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.

    Woody and his wife, Heather, have two children, Drake and Isabelle.

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