That's because John Howard, who is taking over the reins of the program, has been Woodland's assistant coach the past 10 years. During that tenure, the team has made five state tournament appearances and produced 10 consecutive winning seasons.
Melissa H. Williams, Woodland principal, announced Howard's promotion to the head coaching position Wednesday. He replaces Mike Tobin, who resigned last week to accept the head coaching job at Cartersville High.
Howard, who teaches physical education at Woodland and coaches girls' golf in addition to basketball, said he appreciates the faith the school has placed in him.
"I am very excited," Howard said. "It is a great opportunity to have my first head coaching position with such an established program. Most assistants don't get this kind of opportunity."
Howard brought a wealth of sports experience with him when he accepted a teaching position at Woodland. The coach played football, baseball and basketball while attending LaFayette High.
After high school, he attended Jacksonville State University on a football scholarship from 1997 through 2001. He was a four-year college letterman for the NCAA Division I-AA football program, starting in 43 consecutive games.
He accepted a physical education teaching position at Woodland High in 2002.
In addition to teaching at Woodland, he also had an opportunity to be an assistant coach. "I played in three sports," he said, "but I loved basketball. I just enjoy the game. It is so exciting. There's never a dull moment."
He said when he found basketball was one of his coaching choices, "I jumped. I couldn't wait. I had a lot of success playing three sports through the years and I wanted to give back some of the knowledge I'd gained."
As a coach, Howard was the defensive coordinator for the Wildcats last season, during which they allowed just 47 points per game, lowest in the region. He also has been responsible for all aspects of practice and game day setup, including organization and logistics of officials and home and visiting teams.
He said the changing of the guard has gone well.
"Coach Tobin and I had already signed our players up for team camp at Allatoona, and I attended with them starting Monday. That was a good thing. I already had a lot of responsibility with the program and it was a pretty smooth transition," he said.
Howard said the team has taken the loss of Tobin in stride.
"The boys obviously were disappointed that he left," he said, "but I also have their respect and they just turned the page, like I did. We're moving on, and we will make the most of the opportunities we have."
He said Woodland is almost through its summer training and is already pointing toward next season.
"We have two starters returning, Greg Murphy and R.J. Williams," he said. "We did lose a lot off last year's team. We had four seniors who were very good defensively and offensively."
He said the two returning starters are a good foundation for the fall campaign. "R.J. was our MVP and Greg was a very solid player for us."
Howard currently resides in Acworth with his wife, Amie, and their two sons, Rhett and Grant.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Education from JSU. He also has an Ed.S Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University in Maryville, Tenn.