Sparky Woods

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Sparky Woods
Current position
TitleSenior adviser
TeamNorth Carolina
Biographical details
Born (1953-12-20) December 20, 1953 (age 65)
Oneida, Tennessee
Playing career
Position(s)Quarterback, defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1976Tennessee (assistant)
1977Kansas (assistant)
1978North Alabama (DB)
1979–1982Iowa State (WR)
1983Appalachian State (OC/QB/RB)
1984–1988Appalachian State
1989–1993South Carolina
1994New York Jets (OA)
1995–1996Memphis (OC/QB)
1997–1998Virginia (OC/QB)
1999–2002Mississippi State (OC/QB)
2003–2006Alabama (RB)
2015–2016Richmond (RB/RC)
2017–2018Richmond (RB/co-STC)
2019–presentNorth Carolina (assistant)
Head coaching record
Tournaments2–2 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
2 SoCon (1986–1987)
Southern Conference Coach of the Year (1985–1987)

Phillip Perry "Sparky" Woods (born December 20, 1953) is an American football coach. He is a senior adviser for football team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Woods served as the head football coach at Appalachian State University from 1984 to 1988, the University of South Carolina from 1989 to 1993, and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), from 2008 to 2014.

Playing career[edit]

Woods attended Oneida High School, where he is still currently in the Hall of Fame. He holds the record for the most interceptions in a season. He played quarterback and defensive back at Carson–Newman College before graduating in 1976.

Coaching career[edit]

Woods was named the 30th head coach at VMI on February 13, 2008.[1] Before arriving at VMI, Woods had over 30 years of college and professional coaching experience.

When coaching at South Carolina, a song about Woods entitled "Sparky Rock" was released on cassette tape.

On November 24, 2014, it was announced by VMI that Woods' contract would not be renewed by Athletic Director Dave Diles.[2] The announcement came less than a day after a 45–25 loss to arch rival The Citadel, ending a 2–10 season for the Keydets. In seven seasons, Woods compiled a 17–62 record at VMI, including a mark of 9–32 in conference play.

On February 20, 2015, he was named running backs coach, recruiting coordinator, and associate head coach, at the University of Richmond.[3]

In 2019, Woods joined Mack Brown's staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a senior adviser to Brown.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs TSN[5]#
Appalachian State Mountaineers (Southern Conference) (1984–1988)
1984 Appalachian State 4–7 2–5 7th
1985 Appalachian State 8–3 6–1 2nd 12
1986 Appalachian State 9–2–1 6–0–1 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round 6
1987 Appalachian State 11–3 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal 2
1988 Appalachian State 6–4–1 4–3 4th
Appalachian State: 38–19–2 25–9–1
South Carolina Gamecocks (NCAA Division I-A independent) (1989–1991)
1989 South Carolina 6–4–1
1990 South Carolina 6–5
1991 South Carolina 3–6–2
South Carolina Gamecocks (Southeastern Conference) (1992–1993)
1992 South Carolina 5–6 3–5 4th (Eastern)
1993 South Carolina 5–6 2–6 T–4th (Eastern)
South Carolina: 25–27–3 5–11
VMI Keydets (Big South Conference) (2008–2013)
2008 VMI 4–7 1–4 T–3rd
2009 VMI 2–9 1–5 6th
2010 VMI 3–8 2–4 T–4th
2011 VMI 2–9 2–4 T–5th
2012 VMI 2–9 1–5 6th
2013 VMI 2–10 1–4 6th
VMI Keydets (Southern Conference) (2014–present)
2014 VMI 2–10 1–6 8th
VMI: 17–62 9–32
Total: 80–108–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Coaching tree[edit]

Assistant coaches under Woods who became college head coaches:

Personal life[edit]

Woods and his wife, Jean Ann, have two children, a daughter, Emily, and a son, Casey who is on the UAB football staff. [6]

Woods is a superfan of the rock band Night Ranger. [7]


  1. ^ "VMI News Release on Hiring". Archived from the original on February 14, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  2. ^ "Woods Contract Not Extended as VMI Head Football Coach". November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  3. ^ John, O'Connor (February 20, 2015). "Ex-VMI coach Woods joins UR staff, Fisher promoted to offensive coordinator". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  4. ^ Anderson, Reggie (January 10, 2019). "Sparky Woods joins UNC staff". WLTX. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Final poll standings are from The Sports Network Archived April 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links[edit]