Woods Getting Big Offers To Top Med Schools
(Walker County, Georgia) – The country’s top programs have all eyes on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) first-ever NJCAA All-American Matt Woods this spring. Although Woods has two years of eligibility left on the collegiate hardwood, they are not basketball programs offering him a full ride.
They are medical schools.
After four years of college at GNTC (2010-12) and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (2012-14), Woods has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Studies. Medical schools across the country have sent acceptance letters to the 27-year-old UTC college graduate. With scholarships being offered from a number of institutions, Woods has had a tough decision. Those accepting Woods ranged from the University of Hawaii to Georgetown University.
However, topping them all was Mayo Medical School. It’s at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “They offered me a full scholarship that’s worth almost $200,000,” said the excited Woods. “I am also waiting to hear back from Johns Hopkins (University). To even be considered by both colleges is such an honor. I’m truly humbled by it all.” Once Woods makes his decision official, he plans to relocate to his chosen campus later this summer.
Woods earned his place on multiple Dean’s and President’s List at his two colleges during his four years of study. After two years as a member of the Bobcats Men’s Basketball program at GNTC, and three years as an assistant coach for the program, Woods is looking forward to taking advantage of this opportunity of a lifetime.
“When I was a kid, I actually wanted to be a marine biologist,” said Woods. “But after my time overseas, and things my family’s been through, I’m excited about one day working in the medical field.” You see, Woods comes from a military family. His family would move 15 times in the first 22 years of Woods’ life. His father is U.S. Army Brigadier General Robert Woods (Retired). With 30 years of service, the one-star General is married to his former U.S. Army Captain wife, Nadine Woods.
A member of the U.S. National Guard himself, Sergeant Woods returned home from a military deployment to the Middle East in 2010. It was a tour of duty in Iraq that saw him earn a Combat Action Badge for heroism during a grenade attack on his patrol. “We could have gotten the guy shortly before the attack, but there was a school behind him so we had to chase him down,” said Woods. “There were three of us from that patrol that ran into a nearby hut and got him.” Woods left the guard after six years of service from 2006-2012.
However, it is the 2010 battle story of Woods’ only brother, Captain Bobby Woods (Retired), which had a big impact on his decision to go into medicine. During a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, the now 29-year-old brother would quickly find himself in the middle of fire fights. “There were a lot of casualties over there,” said the younger brother. With temperatures rising above the 100-degree mark on August 8, 2010, First Lieutenant Bobby Woods would be on patrol and fall under attack when a bullet found its mark, somehow missing his helmet and shattering the front of his skull.
At the same time, back in the states, Woods was in college at Georgia Northwestern, as well as serving in the National Guard. “I was on a training exercise in South Georgia when I got the news about Bobby being shot,” recalled Woods. “It’s a call I never want to get again. My mom got a call reporting that he’d been shot in the head, but that he was alive.”
After multiple procedures and month upon months of recovery at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, Bobby Woods is is looking towards the future. The retired military captain graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia in Athens earlier this month. Five years after the shooting, he still does physical therapy twice week.
Matt Woods is a 2005 graduate of Dade County High School in Trenton, Georgia. His family still resides in Dade County, Georgia.
By the way, although Woods has two years of NCAA eligibility remaining, the Mayo Medical School in Minnesota does not have a collegiate basketball program. Johns Hopkins University in Maryland does participate in men’s collegiate basketball. Just in case it makes the decision any easier, Sergeant Woods, there’s something to consider.
Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities. Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC. This past year, 14,562 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,249 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,313 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.