Sophomore Nathaniel Williams and redshirt sophomore Tremanisha Taylor are two of the top performers in the nation in the men's and women's discus. The pair will compete for the Wolfpack this weekend at the NCAA East Regional preliminary meet in Jacksonville, Fla.
Tom Wood enters his 25th year as an assistant coach with the NC State track and field teams, working with the multi-event athletes and throwers. Since he has been at NC State, the Wolfpack's throwers have risen to a high level of prominence in the ACC and at the national level.
During the 2013 indoor season, Wood unleashed two extremely successful young products in the women's throws in Tremanisha Taylor and Nicole Chavis. Taylor claimed the ACC title in the women's shot put with an indoor program-record of 53 feet and seven inches. Chavis earned All-ACC honors in the women's weight throw with a third place showing, and broke the school record in the event with a 64' 8.50" measurement.
Wood produced NCAA East Regional qualifiers in Nathaniel Williams, Grant Pearce and Jule Rich in the men's discus, Taylor in the women's shot put and SeQuoia Watkins in the women's discus during the outdoor season. Taylor earned second-team All-America honors in the women's shot put, and Nathaniel Williams also earned second team All-America recognition in the men's discus at the NCAA Championships. Taylor andWatkins also earned All-ACC honors in the women's shot put and discus throws, respectively.
Wood helped Mitchell Pope earn All-America honors in the indoor shot put in 2006 and 2007 and the outdoor shot put in 2007. Even more impressive was Pope's second place finish at the NCAA championships in the outdoor shot put. He also coached James Rowell, who won the 2003 ACC championship in the weight throw and the discus at the 2004 ACC championships.
On the women's side, Wood has coached Lawanda Henry to four school records and multiple ACC championships in her first three seasons. In 2010, Henry was a two-time ACC champion, winning the weight throw during the indoor season and the shot put during the outdoor season. She also won All-ACC honors in the indoor shot put during an injury-plagued 2011 campaign. Wood's previous top pupil before Henry, Kelly Smoke, broke all the school records in every throw but the javelin.
NC State won four straight ACC championships in the weight throw, beginning in 1997 with John Patterson and John Williamson winning back-to-back conference titles, followed by Isaiah Oglesby capturing the next two in a row. Wood also helped Oglesby earn All-American honors in the hammer throw and an ACC championship in the hammer throw, setting new school records in both the hammer and weights in the process.
Prior to coming to NC State, Wood served two years as a graduate assistant strength coach at the University of Virginia. He also coached track and field at Amelia High School in Amelia, Va., for 10 years, guiding his women's team to three straight state championships. His athletes won 11 national titles.
Wood coached former UNC All-American Sharon Couch in 1992 to a berth on the U.S. Olympic Team and former Wolfpack standout Chris Corcoran in the javelin to a spot on the USA Junior National team.
A former all-star prep performer from Bedford, Va., in both track and football, Wood was an all-conference selection at Ferrum Junior College.