Bruce Woodyard joined the Westminster youth basketball scene as a fourth grade basketball player in the late 1970's. And he has been there in one way or another most of the time since.

After a stint with Westminster's varsity, he re-joined the youth program as an assistant boys travel coach, then head coach. Then, he became the travel program's president.


He's been in that top spot for 19 years now. And while the 50 year-old Westminster resident indicates he would step down, it appears that he has his fingers crossed as he says it.

"I'd leave if I find someone to take my place, but for some reason, I'm not looking for that person," Woodyard said. "It's hard to find someone when you're not looking."

One can almost see him wink.

He's clearly devoted to his job. And he says that it is simply a matter of his returning the opportunities to play organized basketball that were once given to him.

Woodyard signed on as a volunteer coach with the Westminster boys travel basketball program when he was 22, He started as an assistant coach on the 5th-6th grade travel team. In those days, the program had only two teams. There was also a 7th-8th grade boys travel team. The two squads totaled about 20-25 players. Now there are six teams and about 75 youngsters.

He took over 5th-6th grade head coach's job when coach Rick Hunt left it to coach the older boys.

Woodyard learned a lot as an assistant. These included such routine chores as ordering uniforms, balls and other equipment. He also got experience working with other adult volunteers and the children themselves.

When he was an assistant coach with Hunt. Woodyard began going to Westminster Recreation Council meetings when Hunt was unable to go. And there, he saw how the organizations functioned from an administrative perspective.

Hunt also ran the boys travel basketball program, and Woodyard took that over when Hunt left in the late 1990's.

"And, I've been at it ever since," Woodyard said. "But I've gotten people to help me. I've gotten some really good guys."

Jeremy Snyder, who has been a volunteer in the Westminster program for eight years, said Woodyard has had a far-reaching effect. Snyder is particularly impressed that Woodyard has devoted so much time and effort to the program even after his own sons stopped playing.

"He has impacted and given opportunities to play basketball to so many boys and coaches over this time period in the Westminster area, and many of these boys have gone on to excel at the high school and college level. He has continued to stay on as the president of this league even after seeing two of his own boys thorough the program and go on to excel in basketball at the next levels," Snyder wrote.

Woodyard is also a vice president of the Carroll County Basketball League. He is in charge of the players' registration information and paperwork.

As with any administrative position in a rec sports league, preparing for the season involves the most work. And during this time, the president spends about 25 hours per week in organizing meetings, recruiting help, registration, ordering uniforms and equipment and ensuring that adequate facilities are available.


Often they aren't. Woodyard says he has a greater demand than facilities available to meet it.

"If I had more gym time, I could accommodate more teams.I have to turn away kids away because we don't have space," he said.

After the pre-season crunch is over and the schedule begins, things slow down a bit for Woodyard.

"It's down to about 10-15 hours week," he said. "The coaches pretty much take over, and I'm more or less on cruise control.I just float."

But sometimes he must "float" into a dispute among parents, umpires, coaches or the players themselves. He does his best to resolve them.

However, Bruce Woodyard has been doing that for 19 years now and shows little or no sign of tiring.

"I'm taking it year by year," he said. "There may become a time when I say, 'enough is enough.' But at the end of the year, I regroup, and I come back stronger than ever."