In Lexington, Sean Woods is part of a group known as “The Unforgettables”. The 1991-92 Wildcats team coached by Rick Pitino was headlined by actual star Jamal Mashburn, but Woods, Deron Feldhaus, John Pelphry and Richie Farmer were so well-loved by Big Blue fans that they had their jerseys retired as well.
Of course, it’s one thing to be Unforgettable in Lexington, and quite another to be remembered in the vast world of DI basketball. Since 2008, Woods has been the head coach of Mississippi Valley State, a seldom-seen SWAC program. He and his team struggled through a slow learning curve, enduring seasons of seven, nine and thirteen wins before winning 21 games and an auto-bid to the NCAA tournament last season. Even that feat may not have lodged Woods’ name in the minds of many hoops fans.
One school in his old stomping grounds took notice, however. The Morehead State Eagles (best known for knocking Pitino’s Cards out of the 2011 tourney) are bringing Woods back to the Commonwealth to replace Donnie Tyndall, who is… going to Mississippi to coach in C-USA.
Kentucky television station WKYT reported Woods’ hiring this evening:
Morehead State athletic director Brian Hutchinson said tonight he was excited about hiring Woods. Hutchinson said, “He did a magnificent job at Mississippi Valley State, we feel fortunate to give him the opportunity at Morehead State. He has passion, energy, a good basketball mind and people think highly of him. Sean is the right guy for us. We were sorry to lose Donnie Tyndall but Sean gives us the best opportunity to build on what we’ve done.”
Whether Woods can win at Morehead remains to be seen, but his name precedes him in a state where Unforgettable really means something.