Jesse Woods, who has spent the past eight years as an assistant coach at University of Notre Dame, will enter his first season as head coach of the Colby baseball program in the 2018-19 academic year.
A Wheaton College graduate, Jesse was an assistant at his alma mater for three years, spent three years at Boston College, and then went to Notre Dame.
"Jesse quickly rose to the top of a very competitive applicant pool," said Jake Olkkola, Colby's Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. "His experience and success on a national level, combined with his passion to educate and build a championship-caliber program here at Colby, made him the perfect selection. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Waterville."
Woods, who worked under head coach Mik Aoki at both Boston College and Notre Dame, was the co-recruiting coordinator at Notre Dame. With his assistant coaching experience, Woods is ready for the next challenge.
"I have had the itch to be a head baseball coach for some time now, and for that to happen at Colby is a dream come true," said Woods, who had five top-45 recruiting classes at Notre Dame. "Colby is the total package. If a student athlete is looking for a place to develop personally, on the field and in the classroom, they will find that here."
Woods has been successful in each of his roles. As a three-year assistant at Wheaton, he helped the Lyons to three straight New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships and three appearances in the NCAA tourney, including the 2006 national championship game.
Woods helped Aoki lead Boston College to an NCAA regional for the first time in more than 40 years. After taking over a struggling Notre Dame program for the 2011 season, Woods and Aoki led the Fighting Irish to an NCAA regional in 2015. Woods has coached 36 players at Boston College and Notre Dame who have been drafted by major league teams.
Woods helped mentor nine Fighting Irish players (non-pitchers) who were drafted by major league clubs, including the Baltimore Orioles' Trey Mancini.
"Colby is getting a coach and educator of the very highest caliber and a man of unsurpassed character," Aoki said. "I have the utmost confidence that Coach Woods will be a leader that will help their student athletes be successful on the field, in the classroom, and in the game of life."
Woods, who taught in Boston public schools after graduating from Wheaton in 2004, played first base, catcher, and the outfield in his four years under head coach Eric Podbelski with the Lyons. He was a co-captain during his senior season.
"I am a product of Division III baseball as a player and coach," said Woods, a Reading, Mass., native. "I believe my time spent as an assistant in Division I will allow me the experience needed to recruit, develop, and produce a competitive program in the NESCAC."
Woods, his wife, Danielle—a Waterville native—and their son, Caden, will arrive at Colby in August.