ENID -- When you have success, people take notice and that appears to be the case for Enid Plainsmen head football coach Rashaun Woods, whose name surfaced in reports in connection to the current coaching vacancy at Muskogee.
Woods, coming off a 3-7 season that saw the Plainsmen snap an 18-game losing streak that also saw him voted District 6A1-1 coach of the year in his second year as Enid’s head coach, confirmed to the Enid News & Eagle on Tuesday he has interviewed for the Roughers’ coaching vacancy.
“They’re definitely interested in me and so I’m willing to listen,” Woods said on Tuesday.
The Muskogee job opened up when Rafe Watkins resigned after a winless season.
Woods’ name has been mentioned as a finalist along with current Muskogee defensive coordinator Travis Hill, who won a state championship in 2005 at East Central. Woods, a former All-American wide receiver at Oklahoma State, coached John Marshall to a state title in 2017.
Muskogee superintendent Jarod Mendenhall, according to a report in the Muskogee Phoenix newspaper, has not confirmed any names of the candidates.
However, Hill did confirm he was a finalist and the paper said sources close to the situation, though not in an official capacity, identified Woods as the other finalist. Mendenhall told the paper interviews for the finalists will occur this week and a recommendation could be made to the board at its Jan. 19 meeting.
Woods noted Muskogee’s tradition and the fact they have a bond issue coming up as being positive aspects of the Roughers’ program and worth exploring to “see if there’s something there that would benefit me and my family.”
However, Woods emphasized his potential interest in the Muskogee position should not be seen as dissatisfaction with the Plainsmen, nor necessarily a desire to leave.
“No, not at all,” he said about whether he was dissatisfied in Enid. He said these opportunities come along when people notice that the program “is doing things the right way and you’re doing your job to the best of your ability.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with where I’m at. That’s definitely not the case. I’m excited about what the future holds in Enid and what we’re building here. We’re definitely on the right track in my opinion.”
Woods said no decisions have been made either way on the Muskogee opening. He emphasized again it’s more a matter of listening to other opportunities which frequently arise.
“It’s kind of one of those things that happen every year,” he said. “The main thing about it is to listen to what people have to say and if it’s a situation that sounds appealing then that’s something I’ll look into and if not, I will learn through the process and that’s where this is at the moment.”
He again points to the fact the Enid program’s improvement is being noticed as the main catalyst for any outside interest.
“We have a good product in Enid,” he said. “The progress of the program has shown and outside people are seeing it. To be honest with you, I’m not necessarily happy with having to discuss it when no decisions have been made. It’s just not something I want to have a discussion with people of Enid or the program when there hasn’t been any decisions other than somebody is interested in me coaching their program.
“The reality of it is that coaches who do the right thing for the program consistently get calls. I know I get calls a couple of times a year about situations just like this one and that’s where we’re at. … Would I be worth my salt if nobody was interested in me coaching their program?”
In the meantime, Woods said current Plainsmen, are “excited about working out” in the new weight room facility on campus.
“It’s real nice,” he said of the new facility. “I was excited about seeing them, it’s been a while. I met them (Tuesday) morning and I will be over there again in the afternoon to see some more kids come in.”
Ruthenberg is sports editor at the Enid News & Eagle.