WAVERLY — EaVon Woodin knows the impact a coach can have on a young girl’s life.
The values she learned while competing on Pocaontas’ state championship teams in the late 60’s inspired the former six-on-six, all-state basketball forward to embrace a profession capable of teaching skills that translate to the scoreboard and beyond.
Tonight in Waverly, the veteran volleyball coach will attempt to reach the 1,000-win milestone when her Class 4A No. 4-ranked Go-Hawks take the court against Oelwein in a Northeast Iowa Conference match. Woodin is set to become the nation’s 15th active coach and 27th all-time to reach 1,000 wins according to information supplied to the National Federation of High Schools.
Last fall, Woodin passed longtime Ankeny coach Dave Whims for Iowa’s all-time win record.
“I had a high school coach Les Lammers (a five-time state championship basketball coach) who did so much for me, I wanted to give back,” Woodin said. “It’s been a great experience and hopefully I’ve helped several athletes and students to have better perspective of life and gain some lessons from what we’ve taught with volleyball along with my other assistant coaches who have been very good.”
Now in her 29th year at Waverly-Shell Rock following eight seasons of coaching in her hometown of Pocahontas, Woodin has found a common link in her successful teams.
“I really stress attitude, communication and effort,” she related. “If you have those three things in life you’re going to go far no matter what your job is.”
Two years removed from coaching W-SR to its ninth state tournament, Woodin’s Go-Hawks once again appear to be primed to make some noise in Class 4A. The team recorded a win at Class 3A’s No. 2 Osage this past weekend and also owns wins over a pair of Top 10 schools in Class 5A in No. 7 West Des Moines Valley and No. 5 Dubuque Hempstead.
“They’ve gotten stronger over the summer and they put in a lot of extra time to make themselves better and make the team better,” Woodin said. “They’ve just grown from the past year.”
Through all these years, it’s the players that keep one of Iowa’s coaching legends coming back to the court.
“They’re a great group of girls,” Woodin said, addressing her current team. “They get along well together. It’s just fun coming to practice and seeing them be friends on the court and off the court, and developing each day wanting to improve.”