Wood embarks on new adventure
Cassville coach leaving for golden opportunity at Monett
When offered the defensive coordinator job at Monett, it was an opportunity too good to pass up for Cassville's Kyle Wood.
For nine seasons, Wood has served as a the Wildcats' head baseball coach and defensive assistant football coach.
"The choice was hard, but the job allows me to move up the coaching ladder and have more say on Friday nights," Wood said. "It has been a goal of mine to move up. I wasn't looking for another job, it kind of just happened."
The first domino to fall and cause the chain reaction began with the hiring of Derek Uhl as Monett's next head coach.
Uhl and Wood had grown close over the last year and with the departure of Monett defensive coordinator Jim Genzler, Uhl had an opening on his staff.
"Jim and I have been friends for a long time, and when it became clear he was leaving, things got serious," Wood said. "Derek and I talked it over and thought I could be a good fit at Monett."
Uhl sees Wood's experience as a major plus.
"Kyle has several years of knowledge and experience in the Big 8 Conference," Uhl said. "He knows what it takes to compete and win in the league. He has been around and learned from talented coaches at Cassville."
For the last two seasons, Wood coached the defensive backs for the Wildcats, and his opinion was always valued on the staff.
"I know Monett is getting a dang good football coach," said Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach. "I hate to lose him, but I am happy for him taking a job that furthers his career.
"I don't want a coach on my staff who doesn't want to better themselves. Kyle is a guy that will be able to go to Monett and day one be ready to handle the responsibility."
While at Cassville, Wood help the football team win two state titles. He also led the baseball team to five consecutive conference titles.
Wood is grateful for the time spent in the district.
"Cassville is full of great and wonderful people," he said. "I have been a part of several great achievements and will miss the kids and my fellow coaches."
Wood is a family man. He and his wife, Emily, have two children, Olivia, 3, and Hudson, 1, and he said the Monett job will allow him to spend more time with his family.
"Baseball takes up the majority of the spring and summer and the hours are long," Wood said. "Then, you immediately transition into football and it doesn't leave much time to be a husband or a father."
Wood said his wife put the situation in perspective when he was still mulling the decision to leave Cassville.
"She told me that it was a big adventure when we came here nine years ago," he said. "She then said the time had come and she was ready for us to go on another adventure."