The Warren County R-III school board recently made its decision regarding winter sports positions, opting not to renew the contract of longtime girls head basketball coach Barb Woodruff, who joined …
Warrenton Opts Not to Renew Woodruff's Contract
By Derrick Forsythe, Record Sports Editor
The Warren County R-III school board recently made its decision regarding winter sports positions, opting not to renew the contract of longtime girls head basketball coach Barb Woodruff, who joined the district in 2001-02.Activities Director Bobby Spoonster says the decision was based after an overall evaluation revealed the program isn’t headed in the direction the district would prefer it to be.“It’s bittersweet because I know life is about change, but you want to end it on your own terms, and I guess they thought it was time for a change now,” said Woodruff. “It is what it is.”Spoonster referred to the win-loss totals and the lack of the Warriors’ presence in conference and district title races as a concern for change.“We want to build a program that is solid from the bottom up,” said Spoonster. “I think that starts with youth basketball and getting them involved at a younger age.”During 13 seasons as head coach, Woodruff compiled a record of 113-211 and her best finish was in 2007, when the Warriors went 16-10.Warrenton has not won a conference title since joining the GAC in 2002, and their last title came in 1996.“We want to be competitive each year in terms of conference and district championship,” said Spoonster.The Warriors went 12-12 this year, falling to St. Dominic during the first round of the Class 4 District 7 Tournament.Woodruff says she will covet the memories and relationships built over the course of a 26-year coaching career, that included stints at three other schools in Missouri.“My biggest joy is the relationship I have with all my former players and seeing how they have grown into young professionals,” said Woodruff. “Being able to stay in contact with them and be a part of their lives is a huge.”Woodruff recalls winning her first district game at Warrenton in 2003, before announcing to the team in the locker room afterward that she would be deploying the next day to serve in Afghanistan.She also pointed to a successful 2007 season when the Warriors won the Hermann Tournament and finished second in the St. Dominic Holiday Shootout.“I’ve got lots of memories, but that’s the biggest thing that I feel is priceless in today’s world,” said Woodruff.Woodruff says she will seek another coaching opportunity, but in the meantime she will remain in the district as a health teacher.“If I can find a coaching job, I will move forward,” said Woodruff. “If not, I’m going to continue to teach, and I’ll reevaluate after this next year.”The search process for Woodruff’s replacement began last week, and Spoonster says it yielded immediate response.“We’ve had quite a bit of interest in the job,” said Spoonster. “We’ve been really pleased with the amount and quality of applicants we’ve had over just a few days.”He says the district would like to get a new coach in place by the end of April, once the current vacancy for a principal is filled.Spoonster says there will also be a change within the middle school basketball program, with seventh-grade coach James Marlock having resigned.“It’s important to get best middle school coaches we can find for kids at that age when they’re so impressionable,” added Spoonster.
Barb Woodruff did not have her contract renewed after a 13th season as Warrenton girls basketball coach.