Former football coach to keep teaching at Antioch High despite change

Mike Woodward (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The former Antioch High School head football coach who was relieved of his coaching duties will remain a teacher there.

Mike Woodward led Antioch High to just three wins in the 2016 season, his first season back with the program.

While the 2016 campaign was a let-down, it was a significant improvement over the previous season – and previous coach – which resulted in zero wins in 2015.

“Obviously we’re not happy with three wins. We want to do a lot more than that,” said Woodward. “But it is a building process. And I thought we were taking steps in that direction.

But in early March, Antioch’s new principal, Dr. Keiva Wiley, decided to make a change.

“I wasn’t really given much of an explanation. I was told two Fridays ago that I was no longer the head football coach.”

(Photo: WKRN)

The move was among the reasons students staged at massive walkout of the school last Friday morning.

“We have this great teacher, great mentor, great coach. They want to take him away,” one student said during the walkout.

“It was an emotional day,” Woodward told News 2 Monday. “And to see that many kids felt that strongly about wanting me to be there really made me feel good inside. It let me know that I’m doing something right and making a difference for them to want me to stay.”

Students raised other concerns at Friday’s walkout, including cafeteria food, conditions in bathrooms, and access to PSAT testing.

On Monday, Metro Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph released a message to the community. The message reads, in part:

“I have assembled a team to thoroughly examine the issues that have been raised as well as the overall culture of Antioch High School. Even if some of the complaints turn out to be misunderstandings or misconceptions, we have to acknowledge that perception is reality, and so we must and will do better.”

While Mike Woodward has been relieved of his coaching duties, he plans to remain at Antioch High as a math teacher for the remainder of the school year. He is exploring coaching options at other schools for next season.