woolard al
Al Woolard

  • Won 153 at Lawrence High School and led the Lions to a 47-game winning streak
  • Was one of only two recipients of a lifetime membership to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Coached Mickey Mantle, John Hadl, and Bill Nieder
Woolard, Al
Inducted 2003

Born: January 9, 1911

Died: October 22, 1998 - Lawrence, Kansas

Graduated: Southwestern College, 1934

Overview

A true legend in Kansas high school football, Allan O. Woolard of Lawrence 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 Hadl and 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.

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.

Honors

He received the Knute Rockne Award and Alonzo Stagg Award in 1964. At the time, he was one of only two recipients of a lifetime membership to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.