Terry Wood '97

Terry Wood '97 with Family

Terrence Wood, Class of 1997, likes to think of his work helping young men prepare themselves for the next level athletically and academically as “a labor of love.”

“I look at it as my ministry,” Wood said.

As the founder and CEO of a program called Before You Go Pro, Wood leads a mentoring company designed to help promising high school football players with challenges that they may face on and off the field.

The mission of Before You Go Pro, is “to teach young football players the X’s and O’s on and off the gridiron. To mentor and groom the person, before the player,” according to the company’s website. The program has helped high school students across the country prepare for football at universities, junior colleges and the National Football League.

“I have a passion for seeing young men succeed and create opportunities for themselves,” Wood said.

Terry Wood '97 with HS Students

Wood said he “unofficially” started the program in 2006, while he was a coach for Riordan. As coach, he noticed many student-athletes were underserved when it came to preparedness for trying to get to the college level.

“I feel like that could be detrimental if you leave college feeling like you didn't take full advantage of it,” he said. “And I didn't want young men feeling that way.”

Wood played as quarterback at Riordan before transitioning to collegiate football at the University of Colorado. Even though he felt more prepared than most student-athletes entering college, having a program like Before You Go Pro would have helped him tremendously at the next level.

Last October, Wood was inducted into Riordan’s Athletic Hall of Fame for his incredible accolades as a Crusader. During his time, Wood was named First Team All-Bay Area and honorable mention All-State in Football in 1997, while also starring on the Track & Field team – winning the WCAL 400-meter title in the spring of his senior year.

And when Wood returned to Riordan to coach in 2006, the football team won the 2006 CCS Championship. Wood said he was surprised to get the call, but the induction was “an honor.”

“I obviously think extremely highly of my alma mater,” Wood said. “It really is a jewel in San Francisco and has been well respected, and just so many amazing people have come through those same hallways.”

Terry Wood '97 with GoPro

In April, Wood returned to Riordan to offer student athletes and parents a seminar on college recruitment and how to maximize your attractiveness to colleges looking for high school talent.

“It seemed like (the students and parents) were catching on to everything,” Wood said. “Hopefully they were because there's possibly a lot of money on the line.”

The talk included advice for student athletes to put themselves in the best position academically on and off the field so that they can secure possible name, image, and likeness deals in college.

“I was happy to do it because for so many years, Bay Area talent has been overlooked,” he said. “And this was an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, you guys got to be proactive.’”

Wood said that he chose Riordan because the discipline and accountability that the school instills in their students were exactly what Wood needed growing up. The biggest lesson from his Crusader experience was being surrounded by peers “that wanted to do something special with their lives” and teachers who pushed them to do so.

“Riordan is a very special place,” he said. “We were always pushing each other and always talking about where we would end up, and I think you only get that in a special incubator like Riordan.”