When the Cape Henlopen Lady Vikings tip-off this winter, they’ll have a familiar face patrolling the sidelines.

Once a standout player at Cape Henlopen before returning as a head junior varsity coach and assistant at the varsity level, Pat Woods is back in the Vikings family again, taking on the head coaching role for the girls team.

Woods was an all-conference and all-state player while at Cape Henlopen before moving onto Wesley College where he was a four-year starter amassing over 1,000 career points as a Wolverine. Back in 2014, Woods opened the Factory Sports Complex in Lewes, Del., which offers high level training and instruction for basketball and other sports.

With a plethora of basketball experience and knowledge, Woods said he was ready again for the challenge of coaching.

“I love coaching and have wanted to get back into the X’s and O’s and practice planning and competition,” Woods said. “We have had a good relationship with both the boys and girls teams at Cape over the past few years, with them helping with our youth league and us helping with coaching and community support. I have also worked with many of the players in the past so when the position became available, I just knew I could help.”

After years of playing, coaching and holding countless basketball camps, Woods has a good hold on what it takes to be a successful head coach. Now, with the opportunity at the varsity level, Woods is banking on the fact that his experience will help the Lady Vikings program succeed immediately.

While wins and losses are the name of the game, above all of that Woods knows what kind of character and traits he wants to instill into his team and he’s also aware of the steps it takes to get there.

“I think consistency is very important for our players today. Secondly, the ability to teach the game - the fundamentals and strategy - is vital,” Woods said. “Generally speaking, players want to do the right things and as a coach I have to give them direction about what those things are and train them so that they develop good habits and don't have to think about what to do - they just do them.”

“Lastly, but maybe most importantly, players need to know you are for them; that you care about them as people and that everything you do as a coach is to help them improve as people and players.”

Woods takes over a Cape Henlopen program that went 10-10 last year, finishing just short of a playoff berth. Looking to hit the ground running, Woods has been in contact with the team and looks forward to what they can do together on the hardwood.

“I had already been in contact with a few of the returners and have spoken with them individually. I wanted to get a feel for how they were feeling about the upcoming season and also share with them the importance of their role on the team,” Woods said. “They have been great! I have also been working with several rising freshmen and they too have shown great commitment. All I can promise is that we will learn the game, we will work hard and we will have fun doing it.”

With his first season on the bench as head coach right around the corner, Woods has thought a lot about what he wants to accomplish. Not only has Woods set goals for himself, but he’s already asked the team what goals they aspire to reach as well.

“Basically, my goal is to do the best of my ability each day. We all have to be good stewards of whatever we have been given. We all have to make the most of every ability and opportunity,” Woods said. “Specifically, if we can develop an atmosphere of trust, a relentless quest for improvement, an enthusiastic love for hard work, a resilient spirit that never quits and selfless servitude toward others, I will consider that a win. Those things are required in life and if we can instill them through sport, then we’ve done our jobs as coaches.”