Archive for Thursday, October 22, 1998

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October 22, 1998

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"Al was kind of a character. He was always upbeat when I talked to him. From time to time I'd ask him about his teams of the past and get some history about the kids he coached. When he'd pass on the information, he'd always pass on an interesting story about his teams.

"Between Al and Nanny Duver (longtime LHS assistant under Freeman who died in mid 1980s), I learned a lot about the history of Lawrence High. I'd go to Lawrence and watch Al's teams play in several games. They always were well-prepared. He is a legend. There will never be another Al Woolard."

-- Former Lawrence High

football coach Bill Freeman

"He's a legend. Without question, Al Woolard is one of the all-time great coaches in Kansas. I don't know of anyone who had any more of a dominant program than he had. He just dominated the state to the envy of everyone. He was a great fundamental coach. They didn't make any mistakes. He'd normally beat you pretty good, but wouldn't embarrass you and we appreciated that."

-- Former Manhattan High head football coach Dick Towers.

Towers' 1961 squad snapped the Lions' 47-game winning streak with a 7-0 victory over LHS in the 1961 season opener.

"I knew him (when I was) a young coach. I listened to him lecture at clinics. I think his record will be unsurpassed. I think he drew people's attention to high school football in the state of Kansas with the quality and excellence of his program. He never wavered in his loyalty to Lawrence High. He'd come by and make sure we were keeping up to snuff."

-- Lawrence High football coach Dick Purdy

"I just talked to him the other day. He called to say that we were doing a good job and he enjoyed watching our games.

"Al Woolard is a football legend, not only in Lawrence, Kansas, but around the state of Kansas and in the nation. He was a great man who did everything he could for kids, not only in football, but in life. There's a lot of people in the world right now that are better off because they knew Al Woolard."

-- Free State High football coach Bob Lisher

"Al Woolard and the football discipline he preached has been a lasting influence on my life. I have to laugh. I worked my tail off when I was a senior in high school and barely lettered. I enrolled at the University of Vermont the next year, was captain of the freshman football team and was on a football scholarship for the next three years."

-- Alan Overton, now an

attorney in Burlington, Vt.,

graduated from LHS in 1955.

"By example, he showed us if you had discipline and worked hard you'd be successful."

-- Steve Edmonds, managing director of Piper Jaffray in Lawrence and a 1960 LHS

graduate, remembers Woolard as an organizer.

"I was in the locker room before the games and at halftime when coach Woolard would be getting his teams ready for the game. It was always very serious and he made sure everybody's head was screwed on right."

-- Dick Bennett, a Lawrence accountant, was a team manager for Woolard for three years.

He graduated from LHS in 1956.

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