'Doc' Woods left a Natchez track legacy

Posted on: February 13,2013

By Joey Martin

Just wanted to throw in something about former Natchez track coach Henry “Doc” Woods, who died of cancer on February 9 in Dallas.

Woods coached track and field for 43 years, starting out at the former Sadie V. Thompson High School before moving on to North Natchez and Natchez High.

He won 19 state championships in track and field, was nominated for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and served as president of USA Track and Field.

Woods is the second-most colorful coach I’ve ever worked with. I don’t if any coach will ever pass former North Natchez football coach Tom Williams. I very rarely came upon Doc when he did not have a big smile and encouraging word. He did so much for young people for so many years, not just at North Natchez and Natchez High, but kids who loved track at all schools.

And Doc could run a track meet. Believe me, those things can get out of hand and pushed back in no time flat. But Doc always kept his meets running smooth.

And I will certainly never forget his radio play by play skills during football games. He would have everyone in the press box rolling with lines such as “Tackled by a host of Rams.”

Natchez has a fine tradition in track and field and Doc Woods is the big reason for that.


Joey Martin is former Sports Editor of the Natchez Democrat and current Sports Editor for the Concordia Sentinel.

3 responses to “'Doc' Woods left a Natchez track legacy”

  1. Donald Dickerson says:

    Coach Woods actually coached track at R. E. Hunt High School in Columbus, Mississippi in the mid 1960’s before he returned back to Natchez.

  2. John Davis says:

    He was a great man and a mentor for all. I thought of him as that father figure I never really had. I will never forget all what he taught me about life. Thank you Doc Woods:-)
    Rams State Champion of 1980

  3. John Davis says:

    He was my mentor also. He was a man of many wise words. I use many of his wise saying today. He would always tell me to run through the finish line. God only made one person like him. I was blessed to know him. Again, thank you Doc Woods. MVP of the 1980 Rams State Championship:-)

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