Roy Woods Named “Art Demmas Outstanding Official” for 2019
By Larry Taft, Middle Tennessee Chapter Board Member
When Roy Woods turned in his football gear following his last game as a Tennessee State University player, one thing was clear to him.
He knew he wanted to stay connected to the game. However, he wasn’t certain what would be the best and most satisfying manner to accomplish this. But before long, he found himself on football fields throughout the Nashville area as an official calling youth games. And he knew that he had found his calling.
Now, more than 40 years later, he’s still giving back to the game that he played in at TSU under late coach John Merritt following his high school career. Woods work ethic and dedication to the craft of officiating are being noted tonight with his being recognized as the Art Demmas Outstanding Official Award honoree.
As it turned out, Woods was a natural. Less than a decade after becoming a high school official regular, he was selected in 1986 to officiate in the Class A state championship game at Vanderbilt.
In 1987, Woods took another step up the officiating ladder when he began a collegiate officiating career in the Ohio Valley Conference. He was quickly noticed as a high quality official and frequently was selected to officiate playoff games. He served the league for 23 seasons, and in 2003, was selected to call the NCAA Division 1-AA national championship game. And while in the OVC, he served as a position chief and president of the officials’ association.
Once his college officiating career ended, he returned to high schools, helping out in the Middle Tennessee Football Officials Association He did that for three years before being appointed as a state supervisor, a position where he is still serving.
“I like the association with the people, and I enjoy helping young people,” Woods said. “It’s rewarding for me.”
Woods, who resides in Nashville, has two children and four grandchildren.