Longtime GWU Administrator Announces Plans to Retire

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Woody Fish, who has served the University in Various Capacities, Steps Down June 30

a portrait of Woody FishBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A longtime administrator of Gardner-Webb University, H. Woodrow “Woody” Fish, has announced his plans to retire. Fish, also a two-time alumnus, has served GWU in various capacities. He will step down at the end of June from his role as vice president for University Advancement.

“Woody Fish has dedicated a good portion of his life and his career to Gardner-Webb, and we are profoundly grateful for his many and varied contributions that span several decades,” said GWU President Dr. William M. Downs. “The bottom line is that Woody knows everybody, and everybody knows Woody. Strong relationships are essential to successful fundraising, and I fully appreciate all that Woody has done to translate relationships into support for our institution. We wish him the very best as he now sets out to write the next chapter with his wife and best friend, Pam.”

a photo of Woody Fish when he was head coach of GWU footballFish earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Gardner-Webb in 1973. From 1971-’73, he achieved honors as a linebacker for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. In 1983, he received his Master of Arts degree in Health Education from Gardner-Webb. Following graduation, he worked in a variety of coaching and administrative roles at GWU—including one year as defensive coordinator, 12 years as head football coach and three years as athletic director. During those years, Fish won 72 games, including two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) playoff berths. The team finished second in the 1992 NAIA National Championship Bowl. Fish was inducted into the GWU Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

From 2000-2006, he was a coach and administrator for Duke University’s football program, serving as linebackers’ coach, director of football operations, and director of high school relations for the Blue Devils.

In 2006, he returned to Gardner-Webb as assistant vice president of Development for Athletics and has also served as associate vice president of Development and Alumni Relations. Prior to his appointment over University Advancement, Fish had served as vice president for External Affairs and special assistant to the president. In his current role, Fish led Alumni Relations, Major Gifts, the Bulldog Club, and the Annual Fund.

A photo of Woody Fish with Charlie Harbison
Charlie Harbison, left, is a Gardner-Webb alumnus and once worked as an assistant coach for Woody Fish.

“From the time I arrived on campus as a freshman in 1971, the Gardner-Webb family has welcomed me and given me the knowledge and skills to grow as a person and a leader,” Fish reflected. “I am grateful for the years I spent coaching other young people and for the time I have worked alongside the people on campus, as well as the alumni and friends of the University. I will always be a Runnin’ Bulldog.”

Woody and Pam Fish live in Shelby and have two sons, Brandon and Patrick.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.