By Brendan Stiles
I hope you all have enjoyed what you’ve read thus far from Part One of my interview with former Iowa linebacker LeVar Woods. Here is Part Two:
HawkeyeDrive.com (HD): You talked about your time at Iowa since you’ve been back, working with the coaching staff. Could you describe your current role with the program and some of the things you do on a daily basis.
LeVar Woods: Sure. My position is called “Administrative Assistant,” and as soon as you figure out what that means, please let me know. Every day I go to work, I’m doing something different, but I’m learning a ton. I’m mainly focused on recruiting, and helping show kids what it’s like to play at the University of Iowa, to be a student-athlete at the University of Iowa when they come on their visit, and also gathering information on these potential recruits, then learning different schools in the area and that we recruit all across the country. I’m learning all those things.
Lately, I’ve been focused on the new football website, GoHawks.com, helping get that thing started, and also our social media campaign with Facebook, Twitter, and all that type of stuff.
Every day I come to work, and it’s funny. I joke around, every day I come to work, I come with a plan of what I’m going to do in the morning and afternoon, and by 10 o’clock in the morning, I’m doing something else I never thought I would be doing that day.
HD: When you do get a chance to reflect back on your career at Iowa and your career in the NFL, what are some of the things you’ve taken from those experiences that you feel have helped you reach this point where you are today?
Woods: It’s funny. I tell kids all the times that I’ve been fortunate because I had the dream of playing in the National Football League since the second grade. I remember vividly in second grade having this dream that I wanted to be a professional athlete, I wanted to play football.
Looking back now, when I was playing, it didn’t really hit me at all. But while I was playing, just going through the motions and doing all the stuff with playing football, nothing really hits you that you’re living the dream in your head when you were seven years old. There’s always a joke in the National Football League, guys always ask “How you’re doing?” “Oh, I’m living the dream. I’m not sure whose dream it is, but I’m living someone’s dream.”
With the NFL, it’s one thing, you think it’s all glitz and glamour and you’re living the life. Then you get there as a guy in my position, going as an undrafted free agent, and you quickly realize that it’s not everything you thought it was going to be, but the fact is I’m still living the dream I had as a seven-year-old kid, so how bad can it be?
Looking back on everything, I think playing in the NFL has helped me tremendously with time management, with dedication, with discipline.
HD: Going back to your football camp, what are the things you’re hoping to do, in terms of making this become an annual event?
Woods: I definitely have plans for what I want this to be in the future. Whether those plans come to fruition or not is still to be told. It kind of depends on what my future career is going to be, whether I’m coaching at the University of Iowa, or coaching somewhere else. Either way, my main goal is to be able to pass along the knowledge that I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from seven different head coaches in the National Football League, a handful of coordinators, a bunch of different assistants, and all the coaches I’ve been around in college. Every single person I’ve come in contact with that has been a coach has given me some bit of knowledge.
That’s my main goal. That’s the goal of everything and trying to put together an outstanding staff, not only from the players, like you look at a guy like Nate Kaeding, who is the most accurate kicker in NFL history. To have a kid who thinks he might want to be a kicker or a punter, to have Nate Kaeding as your coach, a guy who has done it over and over not only at the high-school level, but the collegiate level, and now the professional level, to me, that’s tremendous knowledge and a tremendous opportunity.
You look at a guy like Joel Hilgenberg. A lot of people forget, but Joel Hilgenberg was an all-American at Iowa. He left Iowa, went to the New Orleans Saints, was all-Pro for the New Orleans Saints, and was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
There are a lot of guys like that from Brad Banks, to Bruce Nelson, to Darrell Wilson, the linebacker coach at Iowa, Charlie Bullen. To learn from all these guys that have tremendous knowledge is a golden opportunity for kids, not only to learn the game of football, but also get great exposure to college coaches at the University of Iowa, Northern Iowa, Northwestern College, Buena Vista University, all the different coaches that are going to be there.
HD: You touched on potential career in coaching. Is that something that you want to do, or do you see yourself being at Iowa for the long-term?
Woods: I definitely see myself being at the University of Iowa long-term. Whether they want me there long-term or not is up to them. Either way, I want to be able to help kids. I want to be able to help people that are in the situation I was in 15 years ago. That’s the part of the position I’m in helping kids during recruiting, telling them, “That was me 10-15 years ago,” going through the same things they’re going through. And then going through this past draft, being able to talk to A.J. Edds and Pat Angerer, and even Tony Moeaki. Helping them to explain the draft process, help them to explain the minicamp process and how everything works. I love that stuff, being able to share the knowledge that I have from the experience that I’ve had to guys that simply don’t know because they’ve never gone through it.
Long story short, yes, I would ultimately like to get into coaching. I would like to help pass on the knowledge that I’ve learned.