ALFCA Executive Director Jack Wood (left) presents Coach of the Year Award to Coach Jerry Hood
When the Alabama Football Coaches Association organized in 2005, it was looking for a leader to help give direction and vision to an organization in its infancy. The original ALFCA board found that in Coach Jack Wood. Thirteen years later, he runs one of the premier coaching associations in the country as executive director of the ALFCA.
The ALFCA board hired Wood and told him that if he wanted to get paid he would need to go out and secure funding for the association. “We told him it was great to have him on board but we had no money,” said Jamie Riggs, who founded the organization with UAB coach Bill Clark, who was at that time coach at Prattville High School. “He went out and got Russell Corporation, Wright Equipment and Coca Cola on board and all of those guys are still with us today,” Riggs said. “We were on our way.”
Coach Wood had been an extremely successful high school football coach. After serving as an assistant coach at Auburn High School for ten years, he accepted the head coaching job at Hewitt Trussville in 1983. Hewitt had not had a winning season in 6 seasons. Coach Wood served the Huskies for 19 years and compiled an impressive 141-78 record, making the state playoffs 14 seasons. Three of his squads finished with a 9-1 regular season record and his 1992 team went to the state finals and finished with a school best 12-3 record. Coach Wood was always active on a state basis serving on the AHSAA Central Board and head coach of the Alabama-Mississippi All Star game twice. He served on the board of the National Federation of High School Coaches and was elected to the AHSAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003. The stadium at Hewitt Trussville was named in his honor. He retired from coaching after the 2001 season. Coach Wood has worked for Dr. Larry Lemak and Lemak Health as Outreach Coordinator since his retirement.
Coach Wood organized the first ALFCA Convention and Awards Banquet in 2006. The banquet honored outstanding assistant coaches as well as head coaches in each classification. In 2008 he expanded the banquet to include Lifetime Achievement Awards. His personal mission to create and expand a scholarship program for the children of coaches and students wishing to become coaches has led to thousands of dollars donated for this program. Coach Wood serves today as a member of the American Football Coaches Association High School Board which meets annually at the AFCA Convention. His relationship with the AHSAA has fostered team work between the two groups for the betterment of football in our state. Coach Wood is truly one of the most significant and influential voices for high school football in Alabama. Under his leadership, the ALFCA has grown to over 1300 members.