DURHAM, N.C. — Second-year head coach Trisha Stafford-Odom has announced the appointment of Ron Woodard and Jason Harris as assistant coaches for the North Carolina Central University women’s basketball program.
Woodard and Harris bring nearly a combined 50 years of coaching experience to the Eagles, joining Stafford-Odom and second-year assistant coach Tynesha Lewis.
Woodard is returning to NCCU and is bringing over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience to the program. He previously was with the Eagles in a variety of roles from 1998 to 2001, including part of the NCCU men’s basketball coaching staff that won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1989.
He has accumulated over a dozen years’ worth of head coaching experience since leaving Durham. Woodard posted a winning record in 11 seasons as the men’s basketball head coach at Claflin University before moving over to the women’s bench as an interim head coach at Elizabeth City State University for one season.
In his time at Claflin, Woodard guided the Panthers from the NAIA to NCAA Division II ranks with a cumulative winning record, including an NCAA record of 121-93 (.565). He won the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 2005 before making the transition and winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title in 2009. The SIAC Coach of the Year posted the best record for any HBCU program in 2007-08 with a 24-2 mark.
Woodard, who last coached at Virginia University of Lynchburg for two seasons and posted a 44-6 record with the Dragons’ men’s basketball program, immediately began his career of mentoring student-athletes at his alma mater once he graduated from fellow Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) member institution Norfolk State University in 1981. Woodard was a graduate assistant for the Spartans’ basketball team while serving as a football staff assistant until 1985.
Woodard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education in 1981 and continued his education at NSU until completing a Master of Arts degree in curriculum development and supervision administration in 1986. He then spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Kentucky State University before going to NCCU for the first time.
In his first 13 years at NCCU, Woodard started as an assistant coach with the men’s basketball team from 1988-95 before being promoted to associate head coach from 1995-2000 and eventually assistant athletic director from 2000-01. He also served as an instructor while enjoying success on the court, including five NCAA DII postseason appearances (1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1997). The Eagles won regional twice to advance to the Elite Eight both times and eventually winning the title in 1989.
Harris comes to NCCU as a successful high school teacher and coach. He has spent the past four years as the head varsity coach at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was named coach of the year and set a new program record for most wins for girls’ basketball in school history.
In 17 years at the prep level, Harris gained a lot of experience and connections throughout the east coast having coached in Virginia, Maryland and Florida after attending college in New York City.
Harris started his career at Falls Church High School in Virginia from 2001-02, before moving on to stints at Montrose Christian School in Maryland from 2002-03, Montverde Academy in Florida from 2003-05 and Westminster School in Virginia from 2005-14 before going to Bishop Ireton in 2014.
The founder of the Premier Sports Performance Academy has taught as a physical education instructor for 12 years and served as an assistant director of athletics for two years at Montverde. Harris has been the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Premier Sports Performance Academy since 2006 and served as a coach for its under-16 elite team for over a decade.