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Al Woolard

Educator, LMHS/LHS



A true legend in Kansas high school football, Al Woolard built a football dynasty at Lawrence High School from 1950-68 and retired as the winningest football coach in America. Woolard coached such players as National Football League quarterback John Hadland Olympic shot-put champion Bill Nieder.

Career at Lawrence High School

Woolard won an astounding 91 percent of his games at Lawrence -a record of 153-12-5 - and led the Lions to a 47-game winning streak. The Lions had 25 players named first-team all-state and 21 as high school All-Americans during Woolard's reign. The school won 10 mythical state championships - named by The Associated Press - including five straight from 1956-60. He was named the National Prep Coach of the Year in 1957 and '60 and was named the Kansas high school coach of the year four times. A high school playoff system was instituted in Kansas one year after Woolard retired from coaching at Lawrence.

He was a teacher and head football coach at LHS from 1950 to 1968. He continued to teach at LHS and served as athletic director from 1968 to 1976

Career Beyond Lawrence High School

Prior to coming to Lawrence, Woolard coached at Edna, Commerce and Nowata, Okla., where he posted a 110-27-7 record. One of his players was baseball hall of famer Mickey. Mantle. Woolard also served on the University of Kansas coaching staffs in the late 1970s and 1980s as assistant coach and recruiting ambassador.


• Four-time Topeka Capital "Coach of the Year"

• Two-time Kansas City Star "Coach of the Year"

• "Knute Rockne Award" winner in 1957

• "Missouri Valley Sportsman of the Year" in 1958

• Prep Coach of the Nation in 1960

• Sports Illustrated "Pat on the Back" in 1960

• Eastman Kodak Coach of the Year in 1961

• Amos Alonzo Stagg Award winner in 1964

• Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Famer in 1977

• One of only two recipients of a Lifetime membership in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

• First Kansan to be selected by National Football Foundation for its award in 1993

• In 2003 he was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

Al Woolard
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