By Molly Smith ’20
For the last several decades Ridley football has always been coached by a Ridley alumni.After the resignation of long-time coach, Dennis Decker, the Ridley Raiders Football team has hired someone from the “outside”.
Coach Wood has an impressive football history of his own. David Wood comes to Ridley from the University of Pennsylvania’s football program. He was the assistant coach assigned to work with the linebackers and defensive backs and prior to that he was the head coach for Widener University’s football team. Coach Wood is a Penn Wood High graduate who grew up in Yeadon and earned both a bachelor of arts and masters degree from Widener University. He was a Division III All-American and a three-year starter as a defensive back at Widener.
He currently lives in Garnet Valley with his wife, Deanna and his four children, David, Matthew, CJ, and Samantha.
Throughout the first five games at Ridley, Coach Wood has lived up to the expectations, the team with a 4-1.
“What separated Coach Wood from the other candidates was his level of preparation and professionalism coming into the interview. He came in with a clear plan of what he wanted to do with the team this season, from every meeting, to every play in a game of the upcoming season,” said Mr. Signor, Vice Principal and Athletic Director. Mr. Signor added, “he knows the game, he studied the game, he has a passion for the game.” This is what makes an excellent coach and role model.
Players are excited and hopeful this will be the first undefeated season in decades.
“Coach is good, he can be crazy at times, but overall wants us to succeed,” said offensive player OC Miller.
For senior Brock Anderson, sometimes it can be more than football. “Coach Wood is two-sided; there’s a side where he wants to get stuff done and an understanding side that shows the players he wants them to succeed as well-rounded student-athletes”.
It is easy to see this side when he’s walking in the halls at school; he’s very friendly and approachable.
“Coach Wood is a really good coach. He is very professional and gets stuff done at practice. Coach also cares about the team with how well we’re doing in school,” said Jim McGarrigle, a junior wide receiver.
Coach Wood has made the transition to high school football naturally.
“In college football this is what these players want to do as their job, whereas in high school it’s all about the experience. Some players in high school might be playing for their first time.”
Relationships are important for Coach Wood.
“I have a great relationship with the team, but if they have either a bad grade or they misbehave in class or they even have a situation inside or outside of school; it will be solved,” said Coach Wood.
Overall, this year’s season is a success with the hopes of making it to playoffs and hopefully winning.