Christopher `Woody' Woodard enters his second season as Head Coach of the Rams' women's swimming & diving program. In his first season, the veteran coach led CSU to a 5-7 finish, and looks to improve in Year 2. Woodard took over the program after John Mattos retired after the 2010-11 season, his 31st at CSU. He is the fifth coach in program history.
Woodard, a former assistant coach for swimming and water polo at Colorado State from 2000-05, returned to CSU after six years at North Carolina State, where he was the associate head men's swim coach and the assistant women's swim coach for the past six seasons.
In Woodard's 15 years of experience, he has assisted in coaching swimmers such as Colorado State's Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken (2000), Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones (2008) and Puerto Rican national record holder Dan Velez, and he was the primary coach for seven-time Paralympic gold medalist Erin Popovich (2004), also a former Ram.
During his tenure with N.C. State, Woodard's swimmers compiled 58 school records and the women's team placed 29th in the NCAA championships in 2009. Both the men's and women's swim squads were named scholastic All-America teams in 2010. Jones, before winning the gold medal in 2008, was the NCAA champion in the 50-meter freestyle in 2006.
While at CSU Woodard helped coach the Rams to a 37-13 dual-meet record from 2000-05 and produced five Mountain West champions with 14 school records. Colorado State finished in the top three in the MW each year from 2001-04, including a 10-0 record and a regular-season championship in 2004, the same season the team was an NCAA qualifier. Woodard served as a volunteer assistant with Colorado State from 1998-2000 while obtaining his master's degree.
Before his time at the university level, Woodard served as the head coach for the Shawmut Aquatic Club from 1996-98. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., graduating in 1995. He earned his first coaching job after graduation as an assistant swim coach with Hartwick, where he recruited three future All-Americans from 1995-96.
Woodard is married to wife Holly and together they have a son, Gabriel, and daughter, Elliot.