April 3, 2009
WACO, Texas - Kyle Woods, a former Baylor defensive back, passed away Thursday at a Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. Woods was 49.
Woods, who sustained an injury during a 1979 practice at Floyd Casey Stadium that rendered him a quadriplegic, had a heart attack on March 22 and was unable to regain consciousness.
"Kyle Woods is an icon and beloved member of the Baylor family who will be remembered for his warm friendship, perseverance through tragedy and being a source of inspiration to all of us," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "He will always hold a special place in both our hearts and Baylor Athletics history."
As a 19-year-old sophomore defensive back from Dallas, Woods was a member of the scout team defense working against the second team offense. While making a tackle, Kyle fractured his neck and severely damaged his spinal cord. Because of Kyle's faith, determination, and positive attitude, he became an inspiration to his teammates and coaches during the 1979 Peach Bowl championship season and the undefeated 1980 Southwest Conference championship campaign.
At the end of the 1979 season, his teammates dedicated the Bears' game against Clemson to their fallen teammate. Baylor's captains proclaimed at the Peach Bowl's pre-game press conference that the Bears would win the game for Woods, and head coach Grant Teaff's team responded with a 24-18 victory over the heavily favored Tigers.
The following year, Baylor won its first seven games before San Jose State knocked off the No. 10-ranked Bears in Waco, 30-22. The next week, prior to Baylor's nationally televised game against Arkansas, in a pre-game speech to his teammates, Woods encouraged his teammates to, "Turn a setback into a comeback."
"Kyle Woods for thirty years has inspired us all and was the catalyst for an outpouring of love that made us all better from the experience," Teaff said.
Last May, many of Woods' former teammates, friends and admirers provided financial support to move Woods into a new handicap-friendly home in Cedar Park, Texas. The home was also furnished with brand new furniture and appliances.
Six years prior, Woods coaches, teammates and others raised money to buy him a handicap-ready van. The money raised exceeded the cost of the van. The money left over from the van purchase became the seed money to build the new home.
Funeral services have been set for 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas.
Any one wishing to help with the funeral expenses and the settling of Woods' estate may send a check to:
P.O. BOX 7813
% EXTRICO BANK