By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Returning to her roots, Kelly Wood has taken over as Humboldt State women’s volleyball coach following a very successful decade leading Santa Rosa Junior College’s program.
Wood, twice the top Northern California junior college coach at Santa Rosa, grew up in Humboldt County. She graduated from South Fork High School before attending Santa Rosa JC, and graduating in 1997 at Sonoma State.
Wood starred as a volleyball and basketball player from 1992-94 at SRJC. She transferred to Sonoma State for her final two collegiate volleyball seasons, earning all-conference and all-region honors while leading SSU to the Northern California Athletic Conference championship.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Santa Rosa Junior College, both as an athlete and as a coach. I am looking forward to moving on to Humboldt State, but will always remember my time at SRJC,” Wood said.
Santa Rosa officials expect to fill the volleyball coaching vacancy in the next month.
“Kelly Wood has been an absolutely amazing volleyball coach for us over her tenure, but more important to me as an athletic director, she’s been an absolutely fantastic role model for our young women,” said SRJC athletic director Jim Forkum. “While I’m disappointed for our program to lose such a quality coach, I’m ecstatic about Kelly’s potential to be an outstanding NCAA coach.”
Taking over the SRJC program full time in 2002 after assisting Diane Campagna, Wood led the Bear Cubs to seven California Community College Athletic Association tournaments and four of the past five Big Eight Conference titles. Wood couldn’t pass up the chance to lead a four-year university program. She replaces Sue Woodstra, an American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame member who has retired.
“I’ve been a community college coach for a decade, so one major appeal of the Humboldt State position is the opportunity to work with student athletes for more than two years. I’m looking forward to watching their progress,” Wood said.
The move adds to the Wood family coaching tree at Humboldt State. Her uncle, Tom Wood, was the Lumberjacks longtime men’s basketball coach and holds the school record for career wins.