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Football: Wood steps down as Pennsville coach

Ryan Wood still loves to coach football.

He just doesn't want to be a head coach anymore.

Wood on Saturday confirmed that he has stepped down after eight highly successful seasons as Pennsville head coach.

"There's just so much other stuff involved with being a head coach," Wood said. "Just all the administrative things, all the dinners, meetings, all the things that are involved being in charge of a program.

"In some ways, you get away from the things that made you want to coach in the first place."

Wood turned Pennsville into one of the premier small-school programs in South Jersey. His teams were fundamentally sound and known for their creative offense and sharp execution.

Wood's record was 66-22 at the Salem County school. His teams won six division titles and twice reached the South Jersey Group 1 finals, winning the crown in 2015.

Pennsville was 36-9 over the last four seasons, including an 8-3 mark in 2016.

Pennsville beat Penns Grove 49-19 on Thanksgiving in Wood's final game as head coach.

"I'm proud of the job our players did," Wood said. "All the relationships I had with our players, seeing so many of our players go to the next level and compete, graduate college."

Wood said the 2015 season was extra special because the Eagle dedicated the season to senior Kyle Pszenny, who was severely injured when he was struck by an automobile while riding his skateboard in June.

Pszenny has made a remarkable recovery and is walking with a cane. He was part of Pennsville's celebration on the field at Rowan University after the victory in the South Jersey Group 1 title game, as his closest teammates pushed his wheelchair on the field and placed the championship trophy in his lap.

"You write movies about stuff like that," Wood said.

Wood is highly regarded in South Jersey football circles for his creative offensive approach as Pennsville was one of the first teams to embrace the no-huddle, spread attack.

Quarterback Dylan Cummings, a senior in 2013, set South Jersey records for career passing yards (7,695) and career touchdown passes (84) while his classmate Drew Burdsall set South Jersey records for career receptions (180) and receptions in a season (93 in 2012).

Wood said he would like to continue coaching as an offensive coordinator, perhaps at Pennsville or another South Jersey school.

"Or maybe I'll take some time off," said Wood, who is active in coaching his children's youth teams in different sports. "I still love coaching. I still love coaching football."

Wood said he told Pennsville's administration in August of his plans to step down after the season.

He said he told his players on the first day of training camp.

"I wanted to be honest and upfront with everybody," Wood said. "Hopefully, they (Pennsville administrators) can find somebody who can keep it going or even make it better."

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