Tommy Woolard makes Walk of Fame
By By PETER WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
Tommy Woolard wasn’t big, but he made up for it with speed.
The four-year varsity player on the Washington High School football team could do the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds flat.
At the age of 75, some of the memories have faded for Woolard, but not the night in Williamston.
Schools didn’t keep records on how many yards were gained, “but I got a bunch of them,” Woolard said.
Coach Chompy Wagner gave him his nickname.
When he graduated in 1952, Woolard knew at least one thing.
So he went to college, what was then known as East Carolina Teacher’s College and today is East Carolina University.
He stayed in the Coast Guard for 23 years, stationed in places like Florida and Hawaii until he embarked on a second career, one for Philip Morris Tobacco.
Once he left Washington, Woolard lost touch with many of his high school friends. His mother, Corinne Woolard, 97, still lives in Washington. So does his older brother, Lynwood. Brother Leslie, who is 16 years Tommy’s junior, has a business of his own in Raleigh.
Woolard played with both Dick Cherry and Bill Asby, quarterbacks at the time. He also played with Charles Hoyt and Garland Holmes.
“I often wonder what would have happened if I had graduated from college, but I honestly don’t think I could have done any better.”