Texas High School Football Coach, BS 1938 and MEd 1952
Gordon Lenear Wood was born May 25, 1914, in Moro, Texas, the son of a cotton farmer. After graduating from Wylie High School, Gordon came to Hardin-Simmons University on basketball and football scholarships. He received a bachelor of science degree in physical education in 1938 and a master of education degree in 1952.
He played end at Hardin-Simmons and earned recognition as a good dependable athlete and a worthy man. He also boxed in the Texas Athletic Association finals in 1937 amassing 27 wins and four losses. Wood served in the Navy during WWII and met his wife Katharine Boyd of Waverly, Kansas, while serving in San Diego in 1943. They were married 59 years.
His coaching career began in 1938 at Spur, and he later moved to Rule. Following WWII, he coached and taught at Seminole, Winters, Stamford, and Victoria. In 1960, he began his career as coach of Brownwood High School.
During his first season at Brownwood, the team won the state championship. Along with discipline, he dispensed praise and evidenced understanding. He lived the clean life that he sought to teach his boys to live, and he knew full well that figures on athletic scoreboards and television screens were passing things while the great Christian virtues of honesty, integrity, and eagerness to serve are qualities that endure. Brownwood’s newly renovated sports complex is named in his honor.
May 15, 1971, was declared “Gordon Wood Day” in Brownwood, with Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, University of Texas coach Darrell Royal, and 2,000 fans joining President Lyndon Johnson to honor a man with a record in athletic leadership without a parallel.
Wood was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the National High School Coaches Hall of fame and was twice selected Coach of the Year by the Texas High School Coaches Association.
Wood retired in 1985 as the winningest high school football coach in the nation, winning nine state championships, coaching at eight schools, and compiling a record of 396-91-15. While at Brownwood, from where he retired, his teams won seven titles over a 26-year coaching career.
Gordon Wood, who has been described as a legend in his own time, died December 17, 2003.