#
Ray Woodard
Ray Woodard

Hometown:
Corrigan, Texas

Position:
Head Coach

Experience:
Fifth Season

Recruiting Areas:
Golden Triangle, East Texas, Navarro JC,
Kilgore JC, Trinity Valley JC, Tyler JC

Ray Woodard has been at the helm of the Lamar football program since its resurrection five years ago. Still a very young program, no one could have predicted the success the Cardinals would achieve in year four. Lamar set out to prove all the nay-sayers wrong heading into the 2013 campaign and did so from the opening kickoff. The Cardinals set nine team and individuals records in the season opener. As the season continued, new records fell almost on a weekly basis. Before the season had come to a close, the Cardinals had re-written the records setting nearly 50 team and individual records.

In addition to all the records that were being set fans could even look to the Lamar setbacks to see the obvious growth of the program. Lamar traveled to Ruston, La. to face FBS foe Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs were coming off a campaign that saw them climb as high as 18th in the polls the year before, but escaped the game with only a 13-point victory. The Bulldogs scored a late touchdown to build the double-digit lead, and Lamar left 14 points on the field against the highly favored Bulldogs.

If a near miss against an FBS opponent wasn't enough evidence, then Lamar's conference opener at No. 2 Sam Houston State should've wiped away all doubt as the Cards held the two-time national runners-up to 14 points. Lamar also pushed No. 20 Central Arkansas and No. 6 McNeese State to the final possession of the game before the outcome was decided.

The 2013 season wasn't just defined by the near misses. It was also highlighted by thrilling victories, most notable the last second win over rival Stephen F. Austin. In just four short years Woodard's troops have flipped the series on the rival Lumberjacks. In the inaugural season, Lamar dropped a 72-3 decision to SFA only to watch the margin of victory noticeably decline each year after culminating in a 41-yard field goal from freshman Alex Ball to secure a one-point victory.

By season's end, LU fans had watched quarterback Caleb Berry record the best season by a Lamar quarterback in school history while running back Kade Harrington set a new freshman rushing record. Harrington also highlighted the All-Southland Conference teams earning 2013 Freshman of the Year honors.

Harrington led a list of Cardinals that set another record under Woodard's direction last season. The 2013 version of the Cardinals set a school record for number of players named all-conference (10) in the same season, including the first three first-team selections since the return of the program. In addition to the all-conference selections, Jesse Dickson and Chris Maikranz became the school's first two All-America selections since the program's resurrection.

All told, Woodard has produced 26 All-SLC selections, including three first-team players, four All-Americans, one Freshman All-America, one CFPA National Punter Returner of the Year, one SLC Newcomer of the Year, one league freshman of the year and a conference student-athlete of the year.

Woodard's troops have made a habit of rewriting the LU record books during his short time in Beaumont. In 2011, the Cardinals set seven individual and six team records. The 2011 season marked the first year Lamar was able to compete as a full member of the Southland Conference and Woodard guided the Cardinals to a pair of conference road wins on their way to a 4-7 overall record and a 2-5 league mark.

Lamar made its historic return to the gridiron in 2010. Not only did the Cardinals take the field for the first time since 1989, but they turned a lot of heads with their immediate success. In their very first game - at McNeese State on Sept. 4 - Lamar set a school record with 429 passing yards. McNeese State was ranked 11th in the nation when the Cardinals put a scare into the Cowboys before falling 30-27 in the season opener for both teams. A week later, playing its home opener in front of a red-clad crowd of 16,600, Lamar earned its first victory in over two decades by a 21-14 margin over Webber International.

Woodard guided the Cardinals to a 5-6 overall record that season, which included a 4-2 mark in newly refurbished Provost Umphrey Stadium while playing in front of capacity crowds in their first four home games. The overall record does not begin to tell the story of the renewed excitement and school pride that was returned to the Beaumont campus.

Although the Cardinals were not eligible for the Southland Conference championship during the 2010 season, the excitement generated by Lamar's resurrection of the football program was reflected in the fact Woodard was one of five finalists voted for the Southeast Texas Press Club's 2010 Newsmaker of the Year Award.

Woodard was named the eighth football coach at Lamar by university president James Simmons and then athletics director Billy Tubbs on May 19, 2008. He came to Lamar after serving three seasons at Navarro College - the first two as defensive coordinator and the final as head coach. His 2007 squad went 9-3 and advanced to the conference playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

From 2003-05, Woodard served as the head football and track coach at Burton (Texas) High School, with the Panthers winning the district title in track in 2004. He spent two years as the defensive coordinator at Livingston High School (1998-2001) and one season at Trinity HS (1997-98).

Woodard spent three years as the defensive coordinator for the Scottish Claymores from 2000-03 during his second stint with an NFL Europe franchise.

Woodard's other professional coaching experience came as the general manager/head coach for the Houston Outlaws (1999-2000) of the Regional Football League, defensive coordinator of the NFL Europe's Frankfurt Galaxy (1996-97) and the Texas Terror (1996) of the Arena Football League.

Woodard's first experience at the NCAA level came in 1998 when he was the defensive line coach at Louisiana-Lafayette. 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 had a 9-2 record in 1990, won the conference championship and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the country.

Woodard also had a 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 from 1975-79, he walked on at Kilgore College then went on to become a two-time All-America selection as a defensive tackle from 1980-81. The Rangers finished the 1980 season ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA rankings after posting a 10-1 record and winning the TJCFC Championship.

Woodard then finished his college career at Texas under coach Fred Akers. The 1982 team went 9-3 and finished the season ranked 17th nationally. As a senior in 1983, Woodard and the Longhorns posted a perfect 11-0 regular-season mark, captured the Southwest Conference championship and finished the season ranked fifth in the nation. Texas led the nation in total defense, yielding an average of 212 yards per game and surrendered less than 10 points per game.

Woodard was 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 in 1988 and his master's in education from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1991.

Woodard and the former Penne Striedel have been married since March, 1982. The couple has one daughter, Jessica, who was married in April, 2010, to Eric Martin. Woodard and his wife also became proud grandparents on Apr. 23, 2012, as Trey DeSoto Martin was welcomed into the world.

RAY WOODARD YEAR-BY-YEAR

Year School Won Lost Pct. Postseason Honors

2010
2011
2012
2013
Totals

Lamar
Lamar
Lamar
Lamar
4 Seasons
5
4
4
5
18
6
7
8
7
28
.455
.364
.333
.417
.391
-
-
-
-
-
-

08/31/2014

Berry Sets Career Mark as Cards Pick Up Win

Lamar dumps GSU in season opener, Caleb Berry breaks 25-year old record

08/28/2014

Cards set to kick off 2014 campaign

Lamar hosts Grambling State at 7 p.m. Saturday

08/27/2014

2014 Fall Camp - Special Teams

Preseason All-American Kevin Johnson looks to make special teams special

08/23/2014

Cardinals Close Camp With Final Scrimmage

Lamar focuses on red zone, and special teams in final scrimmage

08/20/2014

2014 Fall Camp - Defensive Line

Senior Joe Okafor's move to the outside should strengthen LU's defensive front

08/31/2014

FB HIGHLIGHTS: The Cardinals win 42-27 over Grambling

(BEAUMONT, TX) ; The Lamar Cardinals opened up their 2014 season against the visiting Grambling State Tigers. Caleb Berry passed for 389 yards and 5 touchdowns in the opener. Mark Roberts caught 2 of Berry touchdown passes and racked up 139 yards receiving. Reggie Begleton caught 12 passes for 119 yards and scored one touchdown. Lamar is now 1-0 and will travel to College Station to face the Texas A&M Aggies next weekend. Kickoff of set for 6:30 P.M. on September 6th on the SEC network.

08/31/2014

FB: Grambling at Lamar Post-Game Press Conference

Lamar defeated Grambling 42-27 in the home opener, setting records in the process.

08/29/2014

PREVIEW: Grambling Rolls into this weekend

(Beaumont, TX) - Jordan Washington takes you through this weeks matchup for the Lamar Cardinals @ Provost-Umphrey Stadium.

08/15/2014

Football: #IceBucketChallenge

Coach Ray Woodard and the Senior Cardinals accept Channel 6's Andrew Chernoff's #icebucketchallenge to #strikeoutALS and challenge Judge Bob Wortham and the Lamar Cardinals Men's Basketball Team.

08/14/2014

FOOTBALL: Camp Upadate

BEAUMONT, TX: Head Coach Ray Woodard discusses camp progress and the first game of the season. The Cardinals open up season play at home against Grambling on August 30 at 7 PM.

    Rotating Image