John J Woods
Years Coached: 1909, 1910
John Joseph Woods was Norwood’s first coach, in 1909. He was also just about everything else to the club - six times premiership player as an accomplished follower, centreman and half-back, secretary, treasurer, SANFL delegate, benefactor and inspiration.
One of four Woods brothers to play for Norwood in its heady early days, “JJ” made a success of everything he turned his hand to. In the mid-1920s, as Mayor of Kensington and Norwood, he was instrumental in the building of the Sir Edwin T. Smith Stand, which secured Norwood Oval as an SANFL venue.
By then the tireless JJ, or Jack has he was also known, already had been a State player, State coach and manager, umpire for every interstate game between 1893 and 1899, chairman of the Australian National Football Council and deputy vice-chairman of the SANFL. He stayed on in the latter position until his death at 86 in 1952.
Woods Street alongside Norwood Oval is named after JJ, and the club’s Woods Medal for outstanding leadership and service honours the family name. But his brothers Ted, Julian and Charlie would admit that JJ was first when it came to Norwood, and Norwood came first for JJ.