Willard “Chip” Woodring, a longtime professor of physical education, died Thursday, May 16 at age 76.
Woodring retired in 1999 after 23 years of service to PBA, and the University established the W.C. Woodring Award for outstanding physical education students in his honor. Prior to his retirement, in 1990, the University recognized him with the “Distinguished Professor” award.
Judy Swartout, a retired English professor, fondly remembers lunches with Woodring in the faculty lounge.
“We shared many laughs about the foibles of teaching and life, in general,” she wrote on his memorial page. “I don’t ever recall seeing Chip without a smile on his face, suggesting an invitation to join him in a good laugh. May Chip’s soul rest in peace and may he now enjoy smiling with the Lord.”
Woodring served as chair of the physical education department and coached the golf team.
In the early 1990s, Woodring found a place for the fledgling team to practice. The general manager of The Village Golf Club in Royal Palm Beach, who knew Woodring, allowed the PBA golfers to pay only cart fees. The head pro and assistant pro also worked with students.
Woodring was known as a standout golfer throughout his life. While a student at Hazleton Area High School in Pennsylvania, Woodring twice won district golf championships, according to the Standard-Speaker newspaper. He earned varsity letters in golf and basketball and got a scholarship to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
While visiting his parents on a college break, the 21-year-old Woodring shot a 63 at his home course at Valley Country Club — a record for members. The course’s record for professionals was 62.
Marshall University later recognized him with its “Outstanding Graduate” award for the health, physical education and recreation department. He was chosen for the award because of his experience developing curriculum and teaching it, according to the Standard-Speaker.
He was inducted into the Hazleton Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, according to the newspaper.
A memorial service was held Tuesday.