June 30th, 2013 11:44 AM║ Posted By: Mike Mitchell ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Missouri, Vanderbilt
Tags: Alabama, SEC, Sprint Airlines, Woody Wagon
If you check out the Wikipedia page of Woody Widenhofer, you’ll see a coaching career that stretched from the late 1960′s to as recently as 2010. What you won’t see on there is what he’s done the last three years – toll booth operator.
Widenhofer, who played and coached at Missouri (“climb on Woody’s Wagon” was a memorable marketing phrase from the 1980′s) and later at Vanderbilt came to love the Destin, Florida area when he would visit for SEC Spring Meetings. Retired, bored and living with bulging discs in his back, the 70-year old Widenhofer decided to work as a tollbooth operator near Destin.
“I was just looking for something to do to keep busy. The recession had hit, and jobs were hard to find. I went to work at the tollbooth, and I enjoyed it. I liked the people I worked with, I enjoyed the people I met who came through.
“A lot of people from Tennessee would come through along with a lot of people from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. It was an SEC area.”
Widenhofer told The Tennessean he’s impressed with that James Franklin has done at Vanderbilt.
“Any time you get to a bowl, you’ve done a great job. By going to two bowls in two years, it shows they’ve got it going there now. I just wonder if they’ve changed the (admission) rules since (former chancellor) Gordon Gee left. They must be able to get some kids in now.”
Widenhofer spent more than three years as a toll booth operator but has recently moved. His wife, who works for Sprint Airlines, was transferred to Dallas.
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