By BRAD KEITH
(December 14, 2016) — After nine seasons as athletic director and head football coach and 21 total years at Hico, Keith Wood confirms he is retiring.
Wood, who led Hico to the state semifinals in 2013 and quarterfinals in 2014 and to three district championships the last five years, was reportedly asked by HISD officials to step down earlier this week, but would not confirm as much himself.
“The bottom line is, yes, I’m stepping down and I’m going to retire,” said Wood in a phone interview Wednesday evening. “Sometimes God just has a bigger plan, I guess.”
The Flash will reach out to Hico ISD officials for more information during school business hours Thursday.
Wood came to Hico as the top assistant to then-head coach Wade Williams. Wood became head coach in 2008 when Williams returned to his hometown, Wellington, where he has since won a state championship.
Football isn’t the only sport that has seen a spike in success during Wood’s time at the helm of Tiger and Lady Tiger athletics.
“What I’m most proud of is the success we’ve seen across the board in all sports, boys and girls,” said Wood. “I’ve been blessed to see our volleyball team make the regional tournament, our boys and girls basketball teams make the regional tournament and more state champions and medalists in track and field than we’ve ever had.”
Wood will relinquish his duties when Hico dismisses school for the holidays at the end of this week and not return for next semester.
“I’m blessed to be able to retire,” said Wood, who has had two kids graduate from Hico ISD while his youngest is a senior. “I’ve had a few offers business-wise, things like that, and I have faith God has another plan for me.”
Wood’s elder son, Hunter, who plays football at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, wants to follow his dad’s footsteps into the coaching business.
“I’ve warned Hunter,” Coach Wood explained, “that there are many blessings in this business, but that your fate is never in your own hands.”
Check back with The Flash for more on this developing story, including what’s next for Hico ISD athletics.