Woods told the players he was leaving during a team meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
The Rangers went 8-2 this season, reached the MACJC state playoffs and won the school’s first bowl game in 20 years. When the final NJCAA poll was released on Monday, Northwest closed at No. 9, marking a second Top 10 finish in three seasons.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here at Northwest, especially with the coaching staff and young men,” Woods said. “I’ve got two young grandkids I’d like to spend a little more time with. I’m not closing any doors for future coaching opportunities, but I just need a little time off.”
Woods, a former South Panola head coach, went 35-13 as head coach and finished 24-6 in division play with two North Division titles and two runner-up finishes. He was named the 2010 MACJC Coach of the Year after leading Northwest to an undefeated regular season and the Rangers’ first Top 10 finish since 1999.
His 35 wins and .729 win percentage each rank second all-time behind Hall of Fame coach Bobby Franklin.
“Coach Woods brought Northwest back into the national spotlight and constantly put a winning team on the field,” president Dr. Gary Lee Spears said.
Northwest had six victories against ranked opponents during Woods’ tenure.
A total of 37 of Woods’ former players have gone on to play at four-year schools, including most recently Donald Hawkins (Texas), Lance Ray (East Carolina), Jamal Mosley (Ole Miss) and Myles White (Louisiana Tech). Seven players were named NJCAA All-Americans.