Gordon Woodrow Retiring After 55 Years of Service in Glenwood

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Gordon Tuomikoski

Gordon Woodrow has volunteered most of his life to assisting in Glenwood activities, from directing the band, to announcing for sports events.

Gordon Tuomikoski, Editor-in-Chief

The ‘Voice of Glenwood,’ the man who announced thousands of events for generations of athletes, Gordon Woodrow will be retiring this spring.

Before coming to Glenwood, Woodrow started his announcing career as a student at Drake University and was inspired by one of the greats.

“Track is my favorite to announce for all of the sports I do,” said Woodrow. “I got hooked on it because after I graduated from Riverside High School and went to Drake, the announcer there was the world-renown voice of the Drake Relays, Jim Duncan. I took a radio-TV directing class my graduate year under him, and he used the students of the class to help him at the relays.”

Not only did Woodrow gain experience at Drake, but he got to meet many world-famous athletes.

“I got assigned the victory stand, which means I would line up all the athletes,” said Woodrow. “I got to meet all these Olympic champions like Charlie Green, who was the world’s fastest human, and Randy Matson who was the Olympic world shot put champion.”

Coming to Glenwood in 1965 as a band director, Woodrow was originally a substitute announcer for football games, but it grew on him.

“It became kind of a hobby of mine,” said Woodrow.

Woodrow took over announcing football full time when Jim Stanley had to give up the job for health reasons. Stanley’s son is retired middle school social studies instructor Brian Stanley.

Announcing was just one of his roles, Woodrow’s main job was directing the Glenwood band.

“I directed the Glenwood band from 1965 to 1983, when Kirk Klein took over, and Pete Jacobus soon after that.”

After having resigned from directing the high school band for years, Woodrow began directing the Glenwood Community Band in 2006 with his close friend and retired GHS Band Director Pete Jacobus, who still sometimes helps with school band events and substitutes for the band instructors.

“I’ve known Jacobus since I first started directing the Glenwood Band and he was at Corning High School,” said Woodrow. “We had a kind of circle of band directors,” said Woodrow. “We all knew each other. We were never here at the same time, however.”

After retirement, Woodrow plans to move to Jacksonville, Florida.

“I’m going to be moving to Jacksonville, Florida next spring,” said Woodrow. “I told Activities Director Jeff Bissen I really want to do one more track season because we didn’t get to have one last year because of COVID-19. I have a granddaughter down in Jacksonville and I want to move down there.”

Woodrow’s legacy will live on in Glenwood, and his contributions to the community will not be forgotten. After over 55 years of announcing sports events, directing bands, and volunteering in community events, he is finally retiring at 77 years old.

“To leave off on a light note,” said Woodrow. “I especially enjoyed announcing for track because it was the only sport where I didn’t have to have a pep band.”