Dover, Del. (Aug. 9, 2012) --- The football journey of Delaware State University graduate and former Hornet linebacker Carlos Woods ('03) has come nearly full circle. The journey, which includes an assistant coaching job at a Virginia high school powerhouse, a graduate assistant position at Penn State University and staff positions with the NFLs Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals, has returned Woods to DSU.
The Virginia Beach, Va., native was recently hired by Hornet head coach Kermit Blount as an assistant, in charge of the defensive safeties.
Despite working in the highest levels of college and professional football since graduating from Delaware State, Woods is excited about returning to his alma mater.
"I'm grateful to Delaware State and coach Blount for giving me this opportunity to return to DSU," said Woods. "The University and the football program have come a long way since I left. From the new academic programs to the wellness center and athletic weight room, everything is pointing in the right direction for the school."
Blount believes the addition of Woods to his coaching staff is great for the Hornets and the University.
"In addition to being an outstanding young man, Carlos brings extensive coaching experience to our staff, from high school to college to the pros," Blount said."His experience also speaks well for DSU and the lessons he learned at the University."
A former standout at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Woods enrolled at Delaware State in 1999. He competed for three seasons with the Hornets. His best season was in 2000 when he was eighth on the team with 35 tackles to help lead the team to a 7-4 record, its first winning mark in five years.
(Carlos Woods at Delaware State)
Following his graduation from DSU, Woods returned to the Virginia Beach area where he served as an assistant coach at Landstown High School. The school compiled an overall record of 40-2 during his three-year tenure under head coach Chris Beatty, currently the co-offensive coordinator at the University of Illinois.
In 2005, a conversation with a Penn State University coach visiting Virginia Beach on a recruiting trip led to Woods enrolling in the PSU master's program and a graduate assistant position with the Nittany Lion football team under the late Joe Paterno. Woods assisted with the defensive line, special teams and strength and conditioning program when the Big Ten champion Lions capped off an 11-1 season with a 26-23 three-overtime victory over Florida State in the 2006 Orange Bowl. Penn State was No. 3 in the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls that season.
After earning a master's degree from Penn State, Woods applied for and received a paid internship with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. During nearly three years with the club, he served as a defensive assistant, scouting assistant and administrative staffer under head coach Tony Dungy. The Delaware State University product was in the press box conducting slide presentations for the coaching staff when the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007 in Miami, Fla. He was presented with a championship ring by the team.
While working with the Colts, Woods met Lauren Lake, an attorney, author, relationship expert and media personality. Lake has appeared on, among other popular television programs, The Dr. Phil Show, Regis & Kelly, CNN, Fox News, Headline News, MSNBC and Court TV.
The couple married in 2007. They have a two-year-old son, Carlos (C.J.), Jr.
After Dungy retired and the coaching staff restructured in Indianapolis in 2009, Woods was hired by the Cincinnati Bengals where he served under head coach Marvin Lewis. In addition to assisting with the linebackers and the strength and conditioning program, Woods prepared and conducted Power Point presentations for team meetings during the 2010 season.
The NFL lockout forced Woods to leave the Bengals in 2011. He spent last year away from football to help to care for his son and operate a sports training business in New York.
"It was my first year away from football in a long time, but it was a blessing to spend more time with my wife and son," Woods said. "My return to Delaware State allows me to stay close to my family. It's great to return to DSU and reunite with so many people who helped me along the way."
Woods is one of two former Hornets on the DSU coaching staff, joining wide receivers coach Curtis Thomas.
Delaware State will kick off the 2012 season at home against VMI on Sep. 1. Game time is 2:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
The Hornets will hold their annual "Community Day" on Aug. 19 at Alumni Stadium. Fans will be invited to the field for pictures and autographs with the players and coaches. The event will also include food, prizes and giveaways, including free T-shirts to all fans age 14 and under.