New swimming coach Joe Woodson continues to teach students to become better swimmers at Manchester.
Photo Provided by MU Athletics

Woodson Starts as Swimming Coach 

Erin Clanton

New swimming coach Coach Joe Woodson is living out his passion.

Born in Fort Wayne, the Indiana native went to R. Nelson Snider High and graduated from Ball State University with a bachelors in exercise science. Woodson was also active in the Summit City community, serving as the head swim coach and aquatics director at the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne and helped coordinate the opening of the Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA. During his time at the Fort Wayne YMCAs, Woodson started a YMCA/USS Swim club, a Master Swim club, and an Adaptive Swim club.

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for over a decade, Woodson has had several stops as an aquatics director and swimming program manager in various parts of the country. He has served as the aquatics director for the City of Midlands (Texas), the University of Houston, the MWR Norfolk Naval Base (Virginia), and the City of Virginia Beach, and also spent two years as a swimming program manager for the City of San Antonio (Texas). 

His late father was his strongest influence due to his personal drive to always overcome everything that came in his way from racial injustice, lack of quality education and the negative people who had tried to take his joy. “He and Jesus mentors me to be the man I am today,” Woodson said.

His mother inspired him to become a swim coach by ensuring he knew how to swim and showed him that water was nothing to be afraid of, but something to be enjoyed. He continues to teach this to his students and thrives on educating people to be better swimmers or to achieve their goals.