- Associated Press - Sunday, June 8, 2014

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - Audie Woodard’s fingerprints can be found on several defining moments in Comanche County athletics.

The Cache High School product was a junior in 1953 when The Constitution started selecting All-Area basketball teams.

Voters elected Woodard to that team, and in 1954 he was named outstanding player.

The next stop was Cameron Junior College. The 6-5 Woodard was a sophomore starter when Harvey Pate’s 1956 unit became the first Aggie squad to qualify for the National juco tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.

A five-semester stay at Midwestern State preceded a lengthy career as a coach and administrator. Woodard, who celebrates his 78th birthday this month, retired in 1991 but continues to work as a consultant and special education manager. He also works with a teacher evaluation program and writes federal programs for about a dozen schools in Oklahoma.

Woodard’s journey began in Cache.

“When I was in grade school, Quentin Owens was our coach,” he said. “I talked him into letting me ride on a bus to the games so I could watch ‘em.

“We had good teams all the years I was in high school. Of course, that was before we had the area tournament.

“We went all the way to the finals of the regional my senior year. We were beaten by a few points by Hollis.”

Cache won District when a Woodard layup just before the buzzer produced a 46-44 victory over host Snyder.

The jump shot was just coming into vogue during that era.

“My junior and senior years are when Arnold Short was going to school at OCU,” Woodard said. “He was my idol. I worked out using the jump shot, trying to pattern it after him. He could shoot it with either hand.”

The next stop was Cameron.

“I grew up watching Cameron play in the old barn,” Woodard said. “That’s where we played. I had a couple of offers from some schools; one of them was another junior college.

A call from Cameron’s Harvey Pate opened another door for Woodard.

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