By Max Diehl, Cy-Fair HS
CYPRESS — Cy-Fair High School is well known for excellence in academics and athletics, and one major contributor toward the school’s legacy was recognized recently for his work. Former longtime head baseball coach Woody Champagne was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association (THSBCA) Hall of Fame on Jan. 11 in Waco.
Champagne was part of the two-member Class of 2019, joining former Carthage High School coach Scott Lee. The two were honored at the THSBCA Hall of Fame banquet during the association’s annual convention.
“This isn’t about me, but about the boys and the coaches and the school,” Champagne said.
Champagne taught and coached at Cy-Fair for 34 years, coming to CFISD in 1980 after his first coaching stop at Aldine Eisenhower High School, where he led the program to three district titles.
The success continued at Cy-Fair, where Champagne led the Bobcats to the 13 playoff appearances and seven district championships. They reached the state tournament twice, finishing second in 1984 and winning it all in 2007.
Champagne won 627 games in his forty years of coaching. He was named a district Coach of the Year 10 times and the Houston Chronicle’s Coach of the Year in 2007.
“There were many teams that are a special memory for me,” Champagne said. “Our awesome 2007 state champions, the 1984 finalists, the many district champs and definitely my last team, the 2014 team.”
Former Cy-Fair High School baseball coach Woody Champagne spent 34 years leading the Bobcats before retiring in 2014. Among his accomplishments were leading the program to 13 playoff appearances and seven district titles. Champagne was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 11 in Waco.
Hall of Fame candidates are nominated by their peers in the THSBCA. Among the criteria are spending at least 20 years as a head baseball coach in high school or at a higher level, demonstrating acts of contribution to the physical and personal development of the nominee’s players and being a person of high moral character.
Johnny Sierra, a current football and basketball coach at Cy-Fair, played for Champagne before later getting the chance to work alongside him at his alma mater.
“I loved playing for him,” Sierra said. “I got to come back and be a student teacher with him.”
Although Champagne and Cy-Fair made news for wins and excellency, the baseball program also earned recognition when two powerful world leaders came to a Cy-Fair game for some baseball.
On April 12, 2001, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former President George H.W. Bush spent time together at a baseball game in College Station between Cy-Fair and A&M Consolidated High School. Gorbachev was in town to receive the inaugural Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service, and donned a maroon Bobcats hat as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch with Bush looking on.
Champagne made sure to include that memory in his induction speech.
“You just don’t forget those things,” he said.
It is easy to understand the passion Champagne has for coaching when listening to him talk about his career. He knew it was his calling at 12 years old, so he followed his passion and made a difference for generations of young adults.
“For 34 years (at Cy-Fair), I had maybe 50 or 60 boys, and each year was different, but just as amazing,” Champagne said. “I know how special of a place Cy-Fair is. BFND still means so much to me. And it always will.”
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