Mississippi Sea Wolves majority owner and general manager John Gagnon and operations manager Lenny Sawyer didn't take long in finding a replacement for Al Pedersen who stepped down last week accepting the head coaching job with the Colorado Gold Kings. Before a packed house in the Green Room of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum the Sea Wolves named Bob Woods becoming the team's fourth head coach.
Gagnon introduced the 33-year-old Woods who spent three years with the Sea Wolves serving as player and assistant coach. John said, "44 candidates applied for the job, but the best coach we did find was in our own backyard. He's Bob Woods."
Gagnon said he asked Springfield Falcons owner Bruce Landon to interview Woods as if he were interviewing for a job with the Falcons. Landon told Gagnon if the Sea Wolves didn't hire Woods, Springfield would. He was also highly recommended by former Sea Wolves coaches Bruce Boudreau, Marc Potvin, and Al Pedersen.
Bob Woods said, "I came to Mississippi three years ago to become a coach here eventually. I didn't know when it was going to happen and when I was going to be ready to make that decision. Every year a coach would leave and I would be faced with it again. The last couple of times I wasn't ready to quit playing yet. I always wanted to quit when it was time and nobody told me to quit, it was on my own terms and I look at the situation now and it's a very favorable situation for me to step into."
Bob Woods played in 599 ECHl games, the league's all-time games leader. He played 13 years of professional hockey and developed a reputation of being serious. Bob also led the Sea Wolves in scoring last season. Things could change in Sea Wolves Country.
Sea Wolves Right Wing Dave Paradise said, "I figured that when I heard he was up for the job. If he got it I knew a lot of things would change especially around the locker room. I know he's very serious and takes his hockey very serious."
As a player Bob Woods won the Calder Cup Championship in Hersey and helped the Sea Wolves claim the 1999 Kelly Cup Championship. He knows what it takes to claim championship titles.