Nate Woody named football defensive coordinator

By Greg Kincaid Army Athletic Communications

January 9th, 2020 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 Army football head coach Jeff Monken today announced the hiring of Nate Woody as defensive coordinator. A 29-year coaching veteran and a coordinator for 19 years, Woody comes to West Point after stints as a defensive analyst at Michigan (2019), defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Georgia Tech (2018), defensive coordinator at Appalachian State (2013-17) and defensive coordinator at Wofford (2000-12).  Graphic by Army Athletic Communications

Army football Head Coach Jeff Monken announced the hiring of Nate Woody as defensive coordinator Jan. 2. A 29-year coaching veteran and a coordinator for 19 years, Woody comes to West Point after stints as a defensive analyst at Michigan (2019), defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Georgia Tech (2018), defensive coordinator at Appalachian State (2013-17) and defensive coordinator at Wofford (2000-12).
In addition to the hiring of Woody, Monken announced that John Loose has been elevated to Assistant Head Coach. Loose was the team’s defensive coordinator in 2019 and is in his second stint at Army, wrapping up his 14th season overall with the program. He was the linebackers coach under Bob Sutton (1992-99) and returned to West Point in 2014 to join Monken’s staff.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nate Woody to the Army Team,” Monken said. “Nate is a veteran coach that has led some of the nation’s top defenses year in and year out. Having faced his defenses in the past and seeing the production of his defensive units throughout his career, I am excited to have him leading our men at West Point.
“John Loose has been an influential leader during two of Army Football’s most successful eras,” Monken said. “He has a wealth of experience as a West Point coach and I know that he will continue to guide our program to success in his new role as assistant head coach.”
Woody, who brings an attacking 3-4 scheme to Army, was hired to run Georgia Tech’s defense in 2018. He worked under then Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson, who Monken was an assistant coach for with the Yellowjackets (2008-09), at Navy (2002-07) and at Georgia Southern (1997-01). In 2018, the Yellowjackets’ defense had a nose for the football as they were tied for fifth nationally in fumble recoveries (13), tied for 16th in total takeaways (25) and tied for 17th in defensive touchdowns (3).
Woody directed Appalachian State’s defense for five seasons. He took over a defense in 2013 that ranked eighth in the nine-team FCS Southern Conference in total defense the season prior to his arrival.
Under Woody’s leadership, his unit led the Sun Belt Conference in total defense three times and ranked among the top 30 in NCAA Division I FBS each of his last four campaigns at Appalachian State (2014-17).
“I’m appreciative to Coach Monken for the opportunity to come to Army and work with this outstanding group of young men,” Woody said. “I saw firsthand in Ann Arbor how well this defense can play in the near upset at Michigan earlier this season and look forward to the challenge of maintaining this proud tradition at West Point.”
Over his final three seasons at Appalachian State, the Mountaineers had average FBS national rankings of 15th in scoring defense, 19th in total defense, 28th in rushing defense and 28th in passing defense. Appalachian also averaged 24 takeaways, 19 interceptions and 35 sacks per season over the last three campaigns.
During that three-year span, the Mountaineers won 30 games, two Sun Belt championships and became the first program to ever win bowl games in each of its first three seasons at the FBS level.
Appalachian State blanked Mid-American Conference champion Toledo, 34-0, at the 2017 Dollar General Bowl. The Mountaineers limited the nation’s eighth-ranked offense to just 146 total yards (364 yards below the Rockets’ season average) and had four takeaways.
Prior to Appalachian State, Woody spent the first 22 years of his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Wofford (1988-93, 1997-2012), including 13 successful seasons as defensive coordinator (2000-12).
In his 13 seasons leading the Wofford defense, Woody built one of the Southern Conference’s most successful units. Wofford led the SoCon in total defense three times under Woody’s direction, including twice in his last three campaigns with the Terriers (2010 and 2012) and produced nine all-Americans and three SoCon Defensive Players of the Year.
In his final season at Wofford, the defense allowed just 16.6 points, 125 rushing yards and 305.9 total yards per game, good for tops in the SoCon in all three categories. The Terriers ranked among the top 10 in the FCS in total defense twice in his last three seasons—seventh in 2010 and ninth in 2012—and also led FCS (then known as Division I-AA) in takeaways with 41 in 2003.
Woody was a four-year starter at Wofford from 1980-83, playing two years at defensive back and two at outside linebacker. He was an honorable-mention all-American, a two-time all-district honoree and served as the Terriers’ team captain in 1983.