Ray Woodard, a 20-year coaching veteran with 12 years of college experience, was named the eighth football coach at Lamar University by President James Simmons and Athletic Director Billy Tubbs on Monday.
"Ray Woodard was the best fit for what we needed at Lamar University," Tubbs said. "He is a great coach, he will recruit quality student-athletes and abide by the rules and regulations of Lamar University. He has played and coached at the highest levels of football."
"It is very exciting to be named the head football coach at Lamar University," Woodard said. "This is a great opportunity and the future is bright for Lamar football."
Woodard, 46, has spent the past three seasons at Navarro College - the first two as the defensive coordinator and last season as head coach. His 2007 squad went 9-3 and advanced to the conference playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
Navarro defeated defending national champion Blinn JC on consecutive weeks before rolling past Kilgore - the SWJCFC regular-season champion - on the road 54-28 to earn the school's first bowl bid since the 1990s.
Navarro claimed a 24-21 win over Georgia Military in the Pilgrim's Pride Bowl to finish the year ranked fourth in the NJCAA national poll. For his efforts, Woodard was named the SWJCFC Coach of the Year.
Navarro ranked third nationally in total offense (444.6 ypg), fourth in rushing offense (250.5 ypg) and 16th in passing offense (194.2 ypg), while scoring a school-record 428 points (35.7 ppg) in 2007.
Offensive lineman JaMarcus Webb and linebacker Donald Booker were each named first team All-America by the NJCAA. Booker led the nation in both solo tackles (107) and total tackles (161). Running back Tyrone Ross ranked 13th in the nation in rushing with 1,079 yards and eighth in touchdowns with 12. Quarterback Jeremy Sanders passed for more than 1,500 yards and rushed for 480 in a run-oriented offense that passed just enough to keep defenses honest. Another standout for the Bulldogs was defensive back Ryan Clark, who tied for fifth in the nation with seven interceptions.
Defensive tackle John Olie earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2006.
From 2003-05 Woodard served as the head football and track coach at Burton (Texas) High School. The Panthers went 4-6 each season and won the district title in track in 2004. He spent two years as the defensive coordinator at Livingston (Texas) HS from 1998-2001 and one season at Trinity HS in 1997-98. Trinity went 7-3 in 1997.
He spent three years as the defensive coordinator for the Scottish Claymores from 2000-03 - his second stint with an NFL Europe franchise. The Claymores went 14-15 during his time across the pond.
In 2001, the Claymores went 4-6 and were ranked second in total defense (267.2 ypg), scoring defense (18.8 ppg) and fourth in turnovers forced (20). The defense allowed a league-record three rushing touchdowns, a year after giving up 10 TDs on the ground and a then-record 39 scores overall. The 2002 team improved to 5-5 and again was second in scoring defense at 16.6 ppg while ranking third in total defense at 297.7 ypg. Their 19 sacks also led the league.
In 2003, Scotland had its first winning record in five years thanks to a defensive unit that ranked third in yards allowed (315.7 ypg) and points allowed (19.0 ppg) during its 5-4 season. That squad also led the league in sacks (32), fumbles forced (19), third down efficiency (35.2 pct) and red zone defense (66.7 pct).
Woodard's other professional coaching experience came as the general manager/head coach for the Houston Outlaws (1999-2000) of the Regional Football League and defensive coordinator of the Frankfurt Galaxy (1996-97) of NFL Europe and the Texas Terror (1996) of the Arena Football League.
His first experience at the NCAA level came in 1998 when he was the defensive line coach at Louisiana-Lafayette. Lineman Danny Scott registered eight sacks, which ranks fourth in the ULL single-season list.
From 1988-95 Woodard was the defensive coordinator at Kilgore College and recruited more than 200 Texas high school student-athletes. The Rangers appeared in back-to-back Shrine Bowls in 1989 and 1990. Kilgore went 36-46 with four winning seasons during his time, including a 9-2 record in 1990.
Woodard also had a very successful playing career, from his days at Corrigan-Camden HS to Kilgore College and the University of Texas to five years in the NFL.
After earning 13 letters in four sports at Corrigan-Camden High School from 1975-79, Woodard was a two-time All-America selection as a defensive tackle at Kilgore College from 1980-81. The Rangers finished the 1980 season ranked No. 2 in NJCAA rankings after a 10-1 record and the TJCFC Championship.
He then finished his college career at Texas under coach Fred Akers. The 1982 team went 9-3 and finished the year ranked 17th nationally following a loss to North Carolina in a Sun Bowl contest played amid snow flurries. In his senior year in 1983, Texas opened the season ranked third nationally, and while posting a perfect 11-0 regular season mark and capturing the SWC Championship, spent all but one week in the nation's No. 2 spot. But, a 10-9 loss to No. 7 Georgia in the Cotton Bowl ended the title hopes for the Horns. UT led the nation in total defense, yielding just 212 ypg along with 9.5 ppg.
Woodard was then selected in the eighth round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He spent the next five seasons with the Chargers, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. He was a member of the Broncos' 1986 AFC Champion and Super Bowl team.
Woodard received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology and history from Sam Houston State University in 1988 and his master's in education from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1991.
Woodard is married to the former Penne Stridel. The couple was married in March 1982, and has one daughter, Jessica.