Woodbury takes on new challenge as coach with L.A. Rams

Woodbury began his time with the Rams as a scout.

Woodbury takes on new challenge as coach with L.A. Rams
February 19
13:34 2020

WSSU legend and hometown hero Tory Woodbury has been hired as an assistant special teams coach for the Los Angeles Rams.  

Woodbury has been with the Rams since 2017 and will transition from being in the scouting department to the coaching staff. The opportunity to join the coaching staff was not on his radar initially, but once he was offered the chance to interview, he knew it was something he could not let pass.

“Once I got the scouting opportunity in 2017 and learned the organization from within, I would help the special teams coach every now and then or any coach, with my knowledge of the game from being a player and being around football,” Woodbury said.  

“When I was a scout, I would go and scout the team we would play the next week to scout their personnel or the kind of plays they run and then come back and meet with the coaches. I would come back and speak with the special teams coach and I guess he was impressed, and word got around. I didn’t think anything of it until they came to me with the opportunity and it was one I could not turn down.”

Woodbury said he was offered the chance to interview on a Tuesday and had his interview the next day. He went in the next morning for the interview that lasted three hours and was offered the job later that day.

“I guess it went well, because they hired me the same day, so it happened just like that,” he said. “It’s a unique situation, because scouts and coaches normally don’t intertwine, they are two separate entities. I am just blessed to be honest with you.”

Once he was hired for the position, Woodbury said he had to try and control his emotions, due to the fact he was overwhelmed with joy.

“I figure that anytime I get the opportunity to do anything, I am going to do it because my faith in God is so strong and I know I’ve always been prepared my entire life to tackle situations,” Woodbury said. “I was shocked, because he (special teams coach) came to me and that let me know what he thought about me and at the same time I was overly excited.”

Woodbury has been able to move up the ranks of the organization fairly quickly. He said it is rare that a scout becomes a coach on the NFL level. He feels his time as a player and then a scout will bode well for him as a coach.

“As a scout, it was an eyeopener to see how the organization was run from the inside,” he continued. “It actually opened my mind to see I really defied the odds by making it to the NFL, because as a scout I saw how hard it really was to make an NFL team. I survived in the league by playing special teams, so special teams is second nature to me and now to be able to coach it, I can instill what I know into these guys, as well as learn from my head special teams coach some new nuances and just apply it.”

Being from Winston-Salem is a badge of honor for Woodbury. He said he thinks of the city frequently and looks to make everyone proud in all that he does.

“I am always thinking about Winston-Salem and growing up in Happy Hill Gardens. I love them to death, and I love my city,” he went on to say. “I know it’s hard growing up there, so I just want the kids and the youth to see someone who grew up on 506 Mock Street and didn’t have the best upbringing, couldn’t afford the nice shoes, but my grandmother did the best she could do. I had a tough upbringing, but I made it out because I kept pushing.

“There is no substitute for hard work, and I had my ups and downs all the way through. Life happens all the time, but I just hope a kid can just look at me and can see me when I come home. I get so many messages on social media and I try to answer them all and people see that they can reach out to me and talk to me. Just to see a guy that’s from where they are from actually making it and doing well, if I can just boost one of them and give them that extra push, then I think I have done my job.”

Woodbury spoke highly of those in the city of Winston-Salem who helped him along the way. He credits Ben Piggott, former senior supervisor of the William C. Sims Sr. Recreation Center, for keeping him out of trouble and focused on his life goals.

“It’s just emotional, because you see guys like that, that help you throughout your youth and Mr. Piggott is like a walking legend and I don’t think the city doesn’t give him the praise he is due,” said Woodbury. “I went through my rough times and was a knucklehead when I was young, but Mr. Piggott always kept me on the straight and narrow. He is just so soft-spoken and caring. I think he was just a major influence in my life.”

Many former and current NFL coordinators and head coaches began their careers as special teams coaches. Woodbury says he is just focused on doing the best job he can at his current position and will address any future moves as they appear.

“It’s like you’re driving on the road or the expressway and you look around too much, you’re going to miss your exit, so I like to just concentrate on where I’m going and then when it’s time to get off or exit, God will let me know,” he said about his future. “Whatever happens from here happens, but I am just trying to be the best special teams assistant coach I can and do whatever I can to make our organization better. When it’s time to move or whatever may happen, God will let me know, that’s just how I go about it.”

The goal for Woodbury in his first year in his new position is to learn as much as possible, he said. He feels the relationships he has built with the players, along with working together with the special teams coach, will be a “match made in heaven.”  

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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