Once a Cavalier, Always a Cavalier: Welcome Back Home, Mr. Wood!


Ariana Alvarez

Gables alumnus Max Wood continues to show his Gables pride well beyond his high school years, now working as a substitute teacher and water polo coach.

Ariana Alvarez, Staff Writer

You may find him at the pool or you may find him substitute-teaching in the classroom, but what is most surprising, however,is that you can also find him with the senior class of 2014 in the Coral Gables Senior High yearbook. Max Wood, who also goes by the name of Coach Woody, joined the teaching staff as a substitute teacher this academic school year. Once a Cavalier himself, Wood is more than happy to be back.

As a student, Wood was very well-rounded and balanced. He had the ability to juggle multiple things such as his academic, athletic, and personal life, and he carries that ability with him until this day. He took part in lots of events for and representing Coral Gables. Wood was on the swimming and water polo team, all the while being an incredibly dedicated student in the classroom. One of his favorites was the theater class he took with Ms. Barrow. Wood enjoyed Ms. Barrow’s ambiance and classroom style so greatly that he decided to choose her theatre class as his IB (International Baccalaureate) elective. Wood was also artistically inclined with his words, having his work published in Catharsis, Coral Gables Senior High’s literary magazine.

Once he graduated Gables in 2014, Wood enrolled at the University of Florida (UF) where he studied and majored in Psychology and Criminology. During his time at UF, he became a registered Behavioral Technician, where he helped teach kids on the mental retardation spectrum and help them find ways that they could become self-sufficient with everyday tasks. Fortunately, Wood did not go through his journey at UF alone; he had multiple of his Gables classmates attend the university as well and was able to room with two of his good friends for all four years.

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Well, I loved visiting my old teachers and I thought it would be cool if I could work at the school. Honestly, I would have not wanted to work at any other school. For the most part, it is a great environment and I am more comfortable walking these old halls

— Coach Max Wood

Wood is currently an assistant coach to the water polo teams offered at Coral Gables Senior High. His past history with the sport goes back to his high school days when he was on the team. Wood gained even more experience by coaching water polo in Gainesville while he attended UF and, upon returning to Miami, thought helping the Cavalier Water Polo teams would truly bring him full-circle. Also working as a substitute teacher now, Wood is happy to be back in his alma mater working with students that were once the image of him and his classmates. In addition, he gets to watch the final year of high school for his brother, Jason, and watch him move on to college.

“I believe having Jason still walking the halls adds to my experience because I get to see what his name means. Not that he is my little brother, but that he is a good kid that is respectable,” assistant coach and substitute teacher, Max Wood said.

Wood is actively planning the next steps in his future career. For now, he has his mind set on becoming more involved with his major, Psychology. However, he has expressed how comfortable he is at the moment and does not want to rush into any job he may not be fully prepared for. As of now, Wood is currently taking his time and completing thorough research on which career path he would like to embark on within the realm of Psychology. He is hoping to see the current freshmen through their high school years and hopes that the class of 2023 grows into strong and independent individuals, who four years from now are walking the stage at graduation with their chins raised as high as his once was.