Staying On My Toes and Off of My Heels

Written by Bill Wood

Tall quarterbacks that could actually see over the line as drop back passers, along with three knee operations, signaled the end of any desirability for me as a college QB. In high school and junior college, I was able to rely on speed, quickness and an average arm, using roll outs, sprint outs and option passes along with some drop backs. From the pocket, I usually had to throw to spots on timing. Without a pass blocking lane, I just wasn’t able to see the receivers I was throwing to unless I was on the move. By the time I got to UNC, Sonny Gibbs and a few others were having some success. Coaches began to look for and prefer taller, less quick-footed QBs…and then there were the knee injuries. In retrospect, I might have had a better chance to play baseball a bit longer that football. I loved it all. Even with the injuries, I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences in athletics for anything-and they all began in Midland, Texas. Lasting relationships with coaches, fellow players and friends were all commonly born of goal setting, building platforms to ensure reliability on, and trust of each other and giving great effort toward common dreams. These are important ideals that have a way of becoming lifelong habits, especially, I think, when nurtured right there in Midland. I know I learned to compete there. Along with plenty of failures, my small amount of success as a trial lawyer comes from wanting to compete, to try like hell to win, and to help someone. Old coaching thoughts like “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” have probably stuck in all the minds that had the good fortunes to find something “in the water” early in life.
My Dad used to tell me “Make your mistakes on your toes and not your heels” and I keep passing that on to all of my children and theirs. All of us will have failures and our own share of mistakes. I’ve certainly had mine, but I still think of those things and I’m still trying to stay on my toes and off of my heels. I think that whatever was in the water prepared all of us to keep trying and doing our best. We are pretty lucky.

…. and one more thing. I actually still have dreams about having one year of college eligibility left. 😊

Richard William “Bill” Wood (RIP)

Richard William Wood, “Bill” or “Coach,” age seventy-four, of Argyle, Texas passed away May 13, 2021

. The son of a petroleum engineer and a schoolteacher, Bill was born in Smackover, Arkansas and raised in Midland, Texas. Bill was proud to be a Midland High Bulldog, where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track each year of high school, served as student council president and the president of the Texas Association of Student Councils, and graduated with the class of 1964. Bill started his tenure as a quarterback for many years in the 7th grade, where his friend and former President George W. Bush was his back-up quarterback. While he was growing up, Bill always wanted to be a trial lawyer- and he never wanted to be anything else except a Coach. His children, grandchildren, players, and teammates knew that “great efforts are always rewarded,” because Bill would reliably remind them.

Bill attended New Mexico Military Institute, where he played football, basketball and baseball. After graduating from NMMI, Bill became a proud Tarheel when he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968, joining the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and earning a degree in political science. Bill returned to Texas and graduated from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1971.

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Bill Wood (RIP) MHS 1964

Written by John McElligott (MHS 1963)

Sadly, Bill Wood passed away Thursday, May 13, 20121. May he rest in peace.

Never have I been so attached to someone whom I grew up with, but had not seen since 1976 in Colorado City Texas. Bill was by then, living in Denton, Texas and we have not seen each other in over 50 yrs.  Bill’s wife was from Colorado City and I was working there as a PA for Root Memorial Hospital. I had up and left my 1st job at the University of Texas Medical Center Faculty. Bill had not changed a lick and was full of energy and as ambitious as always.

The call was made in 2019 to Bill’s office in Denton that my end-of-life dream project would like to include him as a founder of “What’s in The Water in Midland Texas”. Bill did not hesitate to join the group of MHS grads from 1955-to 1965 to tell our stories.

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People that Influenced My Life

Written by Bill Wood

Many people in Midland influenced my life.

To begin with, my parents, Buddy and Margaret Wood were the most dedicated, selfless parents I have known. My sisters Pat and Ann and I were so lucky to have been loved, cared for, and raised by them. Many of our Midland friends had my mother for English at San Jacinto Junior High. President George Bush told me at the White House that my mother was a big influence on him. Of course, that made me very proud. Buddy and Margaret attended all of the activities, and I mean ALL of them. My father Buddy Wood came to every one of my practices in high school football, basketball and baseball. Of course both of them were at all the games, no matter where they were. In college, my Dad would often drive many hours to be near enough to a place that would pickup the game broadcasts on his car radio.They befriended all of my friends and were often substitute parents for several. I’m sure the examples they set influenced other parents and kids as well. 
     Doc Dodson, our beloved high school trainer, influenced my life with his ever positive attitude. I don’t think he really ever learned to say “no.”

I love that. Mr. Mashburn was a serious school principal who taught me and many others the value of planning and preparation. He respected others and he was highly respected.

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Bill Wood- The Best of the Best

Written by John McElligott

Bill moved to Midland when he was six years old. Not only was he an outstanding student while at Midland High School, he was an exceptional athlete, too. He loved basketball, football and baseball and succeeded in all 3 sports. While at Midland High, he was the President of the Texas Association of Student Councils, and following his graduation from Midland in 1964, he participated in the Senate Youth Program.Truly he is the best of the best.   Bill has always been very quiet and humble, and I have always admired Bill for his successful career, outstanding work and his commitment to his family. Bill is what he is…a true Midland “Water Drinker.”

Bill graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in 1966 and the University of North Carolina in 1968.  After completing undergraduate studies, he attended law school at Southern Methodist University and earned a juris doctor degree in 1971. He is now employed by Wood, Thacker & Weatherly, in  Denton, TX . Bill still remains a top-rated attorney in Denton. He was selected to Super Lawyers for 2006 – 2007, 2009 – 2020. He is a true stand out among attorneys in the field.

What I Have Become by Bill Wood

Written by Bill Wood

..Born in Smackover, Arkansas into the family of my parents Buddy and Margaret, and sisters Pat and Ann, I was “the baby”. Somehow I developed a very early love for sports which has stayed with me all of my life. One of may earliest memories from age four or five involves dribbling the basketball on the wooden floor of the kitchen and shooting layups on the door facing. I was allowed to do that because I was “the baby.” After we moved to Midland just before I turned six, I played every sport that was available…YMCA flag football, YMCA basketball, Little League Baseball and it seemed like I trained all year long for the once a year field day featuring sprints, relays, broad jump and high jump at West Elementary. I was just a kid, but I had an enduring love for competition. I think that love for competition (and drinking whatever was in the Midland water) led me to “what I have become.”

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