1. Michael “Dean” Woodson attended Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis. There he was coached by Bill Smith, who was the first black coach to lead an integrated school to a state championship (NYTIMES). After Mike Woodson took over the Knicks as interim head coach, he was able to obtain Bill Smith on his staff. He is now an adviser with the team. David Letterman is among alumni at the school who retired Woodson’s number (44) in 2006 (NBA).
2. Woodson was named the 13th best player in Indiana School History. With 142 steals (5th best in school history), and 2,000 career points (2nd player in IU history), Woodson was a threat on both ends of the floor (bleacher). He played at Indiana from 1976-1980 under Bob Knight.
3. Woodson led the 1979 Pan American Men’s Basketball Team to a perfect record (9-0) and a gold medal in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The team coached by Woodson’s current coach at Indiana, Bob Knight, was one of the youngest and most explosive teams to hit the court. A Junior at Indiana then, Woodson led the USA team with 18.3 PPG.
4. Mike Woodson was drafted 12th overall in the 1980 draft by the New York Knicks. After spending 2 years in the Big Apple, he was traded to the then Kansas City Kings. He would go on the play for 3 other teams (Clippers, Rockets, Cavaliers) before retiring in 1990.
5. Mike Woodson was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks for 6 years (’04-’10). The team significantly improved each year, with a 13-69 record in ’04-’05 and a 53-29 record in ’09-’10. Mike Woodson was named interim head coach following D’Antoni’s resignation on March 14, 2012.
6. Mike Woodson has a wife, Terri, and two daughters- Mariah & Alexis. Mariah and Alexis both attended Woodward Academy in Atlanta where they excelled at volleyball. They now both play for the Georgia Tech Women’s Volleyball team (’11-’12).
7. FAMILY MAN: According to those close to Woodson, he is an extremely loyal person who makes family life a priority (ESPN). Mike’s nephew William Woodson Jr. spoke very highly of him and looked up to him as a child. “He was a basketball player, I tried to be a basketball player. When he became a coach, I tried to become a coach.” One of his greatest memories is when his Uncle was drafted by the Knicks. “He became the icon of the family at that time, we were so proud of him. I remember going to school, telling everybody, ‘Man, my uncle’s playing for the Knicks!”
William Woodson Jr. also experienced some tough love from his Uncle as a child.
“He told us, I made it tough on you guys, because I wanted you to be the best possible player you could be.”