16 Roxbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Inside Becker, Kevin Woods is a professor of criminal justice and former chair of the department of criminal justice. He is also a First Year Advisor, serves on numerous committees and work groups, and chairs the Faculty Senate. In 2012, he received the President’s Award from President Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., for consistently serving as an example of Becker’s core values.
Outside Becker, Kevin was recently inducted into the Holy Name High School (Worcester, Mass.) Hall of Fame as a member of the 1973 Division I State Champion basketball team. Kevin was a team manager all four years at Holy Name, and the varsity scorekeeper in his junior and senior years. He also served as the statistician for a local radio station that broadcast the varsity basketball games. The entire team was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame a number of years ago.
“I’ve always remained in touch, connected, and supportive of Holy Name, including having served in the past on the Advisory Board, so this honor really means the world to me,” says Kevin. “Coach Joe Walsh (who unfortunately passed away in 1981) always treated everyone on the team the same—from star player to third-string subs, managers, and scorekeeper. You were expected to do your job to the best of your ability. This recognition validates four years of dedication, individual effort, and true teamwork that culminated in the state championship—an achievement that has yet to be repeated.”
Initially Kevin tried out for the freshman basketball team, and was cut. One of the coaches asked if he would be interested in being a manager and scorekeeper for the freshman team, and a manager for the junior varsity and varsity teams. Manager’s duties included stocking and keeping the first-aid kit up to date, keeping track of the practice balls and making sure they were properly inflated and in good condition for both home and away games, providing towels on the bench, taking care of players’ apparel, and making sure all players were on the team bus to travel to away games.
“As a scorekeeper, I was responsible for keeping the scorebook and roster updated, along with keeping individual and team statistics, and providing Coach Walsh and his assistants with any information they needed,” says Kevin. “I let Coach Walsh know if any player was in foul trouble. During home games, I was the official scorer and would be called upon by the officials to settle any disputes of game score, fouls committed, and who scored baskets and free throws. I also worked with Nick Manzello, sportswriter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, along with other sportswriters, and provided stats for the radio station that covered our games. I had to work my way up as a scorekeeper, beginning with the freshman team, then on to the junior varsity team. In my junior and senior years, I was the varsity scorekeeper.”
Kevin jokes that he holds the school record for the most cups of coffee obtained (pre- and post- game) for Coach Walsh during his four-year stint.
The memory of the state championship game—played at WPI’s gym with more than 4,000 in attendance—is still fresh in his mind. “The place was electric that night,” Kevin recalls. “The previous two years we had lost to Lexington High School in the state semi-finals—including a game at the Boston Garden, played on the historic parquet floor! For the championship game, we were up against Taunton High School. They had us beat in the height department and were slightly favored. I recall being asked on air by the radio station broadcasting the game what my thoughts were. I said something along the lines of, ‘This is our year and our time, and we will be the state champs tonight!’
“We started off slow and fell behind at the end of the 1st quarter. Coach Walsh called a time-out halfway through the 2nd quarter, and then we started to play our game. The final score was 94-68—a resounding win! We finished the season with a record of 22 wins, 4 losses. After graduation I took a year off before going to college and was hired full-time as the head custodian at Holy Name. A state champions banner had been made, and I had the honor of hanging it. It’s still remains there today.”
Kevin adds that his commitment to the team is an experience that taught him the value of hard work and dedication to achieving a goal. “It also made me very aware of the fact that there is no ‘I’ in the word team,” he adds. “What I learned from these experiences has always served me well—through college, a career in law enforcement, and here at Becker College.”