IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa City native, four-time All-American and former world champion Joey Woody has been named director of track and field/cross country for Iowa. Woody replaces Larry Wieczorek, who announced his retirement from UI effective July 3.
Woody has been the associate head track and field coach for the UI since 2013 and served as assistant coach and director of sprint and hurdle events for the Hawkeyes since 2006.
“I am excited that we already have a tremendously successful coaching staff in place, and I plan to get started right away building a championship program that seeks the highest standards academically and athletically,” Woody said.
Woody is known in the world of track and field for his deep understanding of technique and training, and the integration of technology that has greatly impacted the overall health and wellness of UI student-athletes. He has been integral in helping the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics establish its new Student-Athlete Performance framework for elevated success.
“I’m excited to have Joey Woody leading our program. He’s achieved success at a high level during each step in his career, and is well respected nationally in the track and field community,” said Gary Barta, UI director of athletics, who also noted that Woody has demonstrated the ability to collaborate, communicate and build relationships throughout his career.
“We have a tremendous group of coaches and a great nucleus of student-athletes returning next year. I’m very optimistic about the future under Joey’s leadership.”
Woody’s experience also includes volunteer coach responsibilities at UI in 2005, assistant coach responsibilities at Northern Iowa for five years beginning in 1997, self-employment as a professional track athlete for 11 years beginning in ’97, and the co-owner/sports performance director of Velocity Sports Performance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2005.
Since joining the UI track and field staff, Woody has guided student-athletes to 10 Big Ten Conference individual titles, three Big Ten relay titles and 33 All-America honors.
Woody has also run competitively on the international track circuit, earning a spot on three United States World teams. In 2003, he won the silver medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the World Championships and was ranked second in the world in the event. Woody was also part of the 1,600-meter relay which won the World Championships gold medal in 1999. In 2000, he was a member of the 3,200-meter relay which set a world record and he missed qualifying for the United States Olympic team by .37 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles.
Woody was a four-time All-American at Northern Iowa, winning the 1997 NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles. He was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 2002. He is the only athlete in Drake Relays history to win the Athlete of the Meet award in high school (1992) and college (’94). Woody earned a bachelor’s in public relations and communications from UNI in 1997, and is currently pursuing a master’s in physical education with an exercise science emphasis.
He served as assistant coach for men and women’s track at UNI for five seasons (1997-2002). During that time the Panthers won six Missouri Valley Conference team titles, including the first women’s title in 2002. He coached one individual All-American and assisted in coaching two All-American relays.