UPDATED: Longtime Central AD Woods to depart in July

UPDATED: Longtime Central AD Woods to depart in July

CHAMPAIGN — After 24 years helming Champaign Central’s athletics sector, John Woods is going big and heading north.

The Centennial graduate and longtime Maroons athletic director has accepted the same position at Libertyville High School, located in a north Chicago suburb. Woods will step aside as Central’s AD on July 1, pending school board approval.

“We had a coaches meeting (Thursday) after school, and to a coach they were really happy for me,” Woods said. “I’m certainly going to miss my time here.”

Woods, who has been at Central since 1992 with the exception of two school years, also oversees teacher evaluations, facilities, custodians and the special education program. At Libertyville, he’ll be in charge only of the athletics programs, something Woods said was appealing.

The institution of 1,936 began pursuing Woods in fall 2017 after prior AD Briant Kelly was named associate superintendent of Community High School District 128, which includes Libertyville.

“What I recognized in him were the things I value in all of our administrators,” Libertyville principal Tom Koulentes said, “which is servent-oriented leadership, which means he’s in a position to help and sacrifice his own time, his own efforts, his own energy on behalf of other people, specifically our students.”

Woods made connections with the Wildcats through his 15 years in the Illinois Athletic Directors Association and said friends in the state’s northern region had encouraged him for years to search for a position in that area.

But Woods always has held off because he wanted both of his children to graduate from Central, a school of 1,231. With his daughter presently a senior, the time became right to seriously consider a change.

“It’s exciting to go to a bigger school and work with a staff that’s been together a long time,” Woods said. “Doing some research, when people go to Libertyville, they don’t ever leave. It’s a really neat opportunity and a new challenge.”

Koulentes said Woods beat out a pool of 24 other applicants for a recommendation to the Libertyville school board, including multiple sitting ADs at other schools.

Woods said he isn’t sure of any favorites to take over Central’s AD post, or how the application and hiring process might play out. But he’s informed Maroon officials he’s willing to assist in any way. That allows roughly five months for Woods to enjoy what he’ll soon leave behind.

“I’ve made some great friends and worked with a great staff,” he said. “I’m going to bleed maroon forever. There are so many things I’m going to miss about this place, especially the people.”

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RGs wrote on February 10, 2018 at 1:02 pm

I wonder if it was related to this controversy at all, previously reported in the NG:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2017-11-14/decision-cut-senior-pr...

I wonder, too, what the status of that investigation is.