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VMI hires Sparky Woods to lead football program

Lexington, VA (Sports Network) - The Virginia Military Institute announced Tuesday that Sparky Woods has been hired as the new head coach of Keydets football.

Woods becomes the 30th head coach of VMI's football program, replacing Jim Reid, who resigned in January to take the Miami Dolphins' outside linebackers coaching job.

A 30-year veteran, Woods owns a 62-47-5 record as a head coach. He most recently served as the running backs coach at Alabama. Woods has held the head coach post at South Carolina (1989-93) and Appalachian State (1984-88), where he led the Mountaineers to back-to-back Southern Conference championships. Woods won three consecutive conference Coach of the Year awards while at Appalachian State, and was named the Kodak Region II Coach of the Year in 1986.

"I am extremely happy that Sparky Woods was interested in VMI," said athletic director Donny White. "His experience as a head football coach...put him at the top of our list. I am excited about the potential of VMI football and I feel that Coach Woods will build a successful program here."

The 54-year-old Woods began his coaching career in 1976 at Tennessee, immediately following his graduation earlier that year from Carson-Newman. He takes over a squad that posted a 3-19 mark over the past two seasons under Reid.

"We are excited about joining the Keydets," said Woods. "I am appreciative of coach Jim Reid and his staff's contributions to the program, and intend to visit with each assistant coach as we go through the process of assembling a staff. I especially look forward to meeting the players as we work together to keep VMI football moving ahead in the years to come."

VMI will introduce Woods as its new head football coach during a Friday press conference.

02/12 20:40:40 ET