Woody welcomed as new Iowa track coach

Gazette staff

The University of Iowa named a familiar face to it’s coaching core Monday, when Iowa grad Joey Woody was named head coach for the Hawkeyes’ track and field and cross country teams.

The former Iowa City High star has been on the coaching staff for Iowa since 2006, serving as the sprint and hurdles coach and taking the assistant coaching position in 2013.

Famously known in the track and field world, Woody has competed on the international racing circuit and had been a part of three U.S. world teams.

In a news release, the Iowa athletic department credited Woody with a mind for the integration of new running technology. The understanding of what new technology can do for runners has helped the overall wellness of student-athletes, according to the release. In 2003, Woody claimed the silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the World Championships and ranked second in the world in the 400 hurdles.

“As a native Iowan and lifelong Hawkeye fan, this is a dream come true for me and my family,” Woody said, in a news release Monday.

Woody had success in coaching former Hawkeye Erik Sowinski to a Big Ten indoor 800-meter title in 2012 and a runner-up finish in the 800 at that season’s NCAA Indoor Championships.

“I am excited that we already have a tremendously successful coaching staff in place,” Woody said in the release. “I plan to get started right away building a championship program that seeks the highest standards academically and athletically.”

For 11 years, Woody was a professional athlete while being an assistant coach at Northern Iowa.

Woody replaces Larry Wieczorek, whose retirement is effective July 3.

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