Woodson High School will begin the interview process for a new head football coach beginning the week of April 11, according to the school’s director of student activities Dan Checkosky.
"We closed the position on April 5 and are forming a [interview] committee," said Checkosky.
The opening is the result of Trey Taylor recently stepping down as the Cavaliers’ head coach. Taylor, two years ago, guided Woodson to a 13-2 record and a trip to the Division 6 Northern Region finals where the Cavaliers lost to Lake Braddock, 27-20. This past fall season, Woodson struggled and finished 3-7.
Taylor resigned at Woodson in order to become the new head coach at Robinson Secondary, historically one of the top football programs in the region. So Taylor, whose Woodson team competed in the Patriot District, will now be the leader of a Rams’ program that is part of the Concorde District.
Robinson, under long time head coach Mark Bendorf, went 9-3 this past season and got as far as the Division 6 region semifinals where their season ended with a 24-23 loss to Lake Braddock.
Bendorf, following the winter school break, informed Robinson personnel of his intentions to retire from both coaching and teaching. Shortly thereafter, he told his players of his plans.
"The kids were shocked," said Marty Riddle, the Robinson director of student activities. "But they have handled it well and that’s a tribute to them."
Bendorf will conclude this school year as Robinson’s physical education chairman.
"It was perfect timing with his age and the number of years he has in Fairfax County," said Riddle, of Bendorf’s retirement timing.
Riddle said Bendorf has helped the coaching transition by continuing to work with the Rams’ players in the weight room this offseason.
"If you had walked into the weight room [in recent weeks], you would not have known he had retired," said Riddle. "[The football program] is maintaining the type of work ethic and preparation that has been a hallmark of Robinson football. Mark’s really helped in that respect to make sure the training continues."
<b>RIDDLE SAID</b> six candidates were interviewed for the Robinson football head coach position. Bendorf was not a part of the interview process but Riddle did ask the heralded coach, at the beginning stages in the search for a new coach, for his input on which individuals from around the region should be on their radar screen.
"His knowledge basis was very helpful in knowing a lot of people," said Riddle.
Riddle said Robinson has the right man to take over for Bendorf in Taylor.
"I think he has a solid background in the Northern Region having coached for 15 years," he said, of Taylor. "He brings the experience of having been a head football coach."
Riddle said, in regards to football philosophy, that Taylor believes in building a staunch defense and, on the offensive side, running the football with success. At Woodson, Taylor’s teams, at times, had good success both running and throwing the football.
"There will be a [continued] emphasis in the weight room and preparing kids to play in the Concorde District and continuing the Robinson success," said Riddle. "Mark emphasized the same type of approach."
At Woodson, Checkosky said the plan is to bring in a new football coach who is "a strong character person with great knowledge of football."
Checkosky was naturally disappointed to lose Taylor, who will continue the school year as a weight instructor at Woodson, as the Cavaliers’ head football coach. But he also wishes Taylor the best in the future.
"We’re very happy for coach Trey and his opportunity at Robinson," said Checkosky. "Here, we’re excited about moving forward and continuing the tradition and pride at Woodson."