Late Athens baseball coach remembered, revered 

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athletic Coaches are role models who many athletes look up to, and one such role model was late Athens baseball coach Bill Woodell.

Coach Woodell was the head coach for 12 years in the 1970s. Before that he was an assistant coach under Ed Rannow.  

Coach Woodell pitches for Ohio University
Photo courtesy Woodell family Before coaching at Athens High School for more than a dozen years, Bill Woodell pitched of Ohio University. He was known for his knuckleball.

Woodell knew his stuff, having played college ball at Ohio University, but this did not mean that Woodell was not willing to teach the game. Nate Schaller had Woodell as his first ever baseball coach and said there was never a bad day at practice.

“It was always a positive outlook on life, on things,” he said. “Things could always be worse, and (Woodell) held that true all the way through.” 

Current Athens baseball Head Coach Todd Nuzum played for Woodell while he was in high school and said he experienced a similar feel to practices at the high school level.

Woodell coaches youth
Photo courtesy Woodell family Bill Woodell coached youth baseball as well as high school during his coaching tenure.

“(Woodell) was such a players coach,” he said. “You wanted to come out here and perform in front of him. You hated when practice was over because you had to leave him.”  

Even though Woodell coached high school and little children at the same time, Schaller said he still taught his teams the fundamentals.

“He started us throwing the ball up in the air to ourselves and has us catch it and then we went from there,” he said.

For Bill Woodell, it was not just on the field that he made an impact. Even in the classroom he tried to get his students to find jobs and to follow their dreams.