Give Me 5

Addison coach Kayla Woodard congratulates Kendra Tyree during a timeout in 2017.

Kayla Woodard Smith recently stepped down as Addison's volleyball coach following five successful seasons atop the dominant program.

The Lady Bulldogs captured four consecutive state championships (2015-18) under Smith before falling short versus G.W. Long in last year's title matchup, ending an impressive streak of six straight Blue Map trophies for the small-school dynasty.

Smith compiled a 255-61 record during her head coaching tenure at Addison.

“It just felt like a good time (to step down),” Smith said. “I had a lot of friends who went to college because they wanted to coach. For me, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Being a coach was fun, but it’s gotten very hard to do that and be a good elementary teacher. I didn’t feel I could do a really good job in both. I’m just not the type of person who doesn’t want to do her best in everything. But it was a hard decision, because this has been such a huge part of my life for so long."

Kaydi Woodard — a cousin of Smith — has been hired as the replacement.

Woodard, who won a state title with the Lady Bulldogs as a senior, graduated from Addison in 2010 and is happy to return to her alma mater.

She’ll inherit a program that has won 11 state titles and appeared in 11 straight championship matches.

“I’m very excited and honored to have even been asked to take over the program,” Woodard said. “It’s easy to work with a group of girls you don’t have to ask to warm up or work hard. They’re always working hard. That’s the Addison mentality. I’m honored to take over and continue the success."

The Lady Bulldogs lost Savannah Manley and Macey Butler to graduation, but return several critical pieces from a talented squad that posted a 49-15 record in 2019.

“I think the program is in very good hands,” Smith said. “I told Kaydi, ‘I’m here if you need me, but I’m not going to step on your toes.’ We’ve talked a lot about it. I think she’s going to do a great job. We have a lot of girls coming back and a lot of great experience. We also have a lot of girls coming up with potential. I expect good things from the program."

Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 236 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.​

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