A Home Of His Own

August 24, 2004

When Kyle Woods was a child, his grandmother, who suffered from arthritis, used to tell him, "My body may have given out, but I never will."
His grandmother's words have helped sustain the former Baylor football player who suffered a neck injury in a 1979 preseason practice that left him a quadriplegic. It's that indomitable spirit that has made Woods an inspiration to Baylor's athletes and supporters for more than 25 years. Now those he has encouraged are seeking to honor him with a unique home of his own. 
"From the get-go, he had an amazing attitude," said Grant Teaff, Woods' coach at Baylor. "Twenty-five years later, he still has that same attitude."
Last fall, members of the Baylor family began raising the $250,000 necessary to build a home that will provide Woods with more space and improved mobility near Mountainview College, where he works as a counselor for disabled students.
Several months after his injury, Woods spoke to the Bears before their game against Clemson University in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31, 1979. He told his teammates that what gets him through each day is "faith in God that stands the test of time, faith in my teammates and faith in myself." Teaff remembers that "you could hear a pin drop in that room. It was one of the most inspirational moments I have ever experienced." The Bears won that game, 24-18.
Construction on the house will begin when fundraising is complete. Gift-in-kind donations from local contractors will supply flooring, roofing materials, bricks, light fixtures and appliances. Teaff and the other project coordinators -- L.M. Dyson, associate professor of finance, insurance and real estate, and Woods' former teammates Radar Holt and Scott Smith -- estimate they still need about $100,000. 
"We are coming along quite well," Teaff said. "We encourage the Baylor people to help get this project under way."