June 3, 2009
Mike Woods, the University of Cincinnati football team's first consensus All-American, died on May 28, 2009 in Cleveland at the age of 54.
Woods played for UC from 1975-77 and was UC's first consensus first-team All-American in 1977. He was voted the squad's MVP as a junior and led the Bearcats with 114 tackles as a senior. As a co-captain his senior year, he helped lead the Bearcats defense to a No. 11 ranking in the country. He transferred to Cincinnati in 1975 from the University of Tampa.
He was inducted as a charter member of the Bearcats' Ring of Honor in Nippert Stadium in 2006.
Following the close of his senior season in 1977, he was selected to play in the Senior Bowl. Woods was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 52nd pick in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He played three seasons for the Colts, playing in 48 games, starting 36.
A promising NFL career was cut short in 1982 when Woods was paralyzed in a random shooting in Cleveland. He spent the next 27 years as a quadriplegic.
Woods was a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a standout player at Benedictine High School. He was the first graduate of the school to earn all-America honors at the collegiate level.
He is survived by his wife Milyn, and four children: Shaun Woods, Anissa Hamilton, Pasia Woods, and Royce Woods. Shaun played football at Bowie State under Woods' former Colts teammate, Sanders Shiver.
A service celebrating Woods' memory is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at EF Boyd & Son Funeral Homes & Crematory, located at 15357 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. A wake will precede the service at 10:30 a.m.