FLOWOOD, Miss. (WJTV) — Not too long ago Gene Wood was bringing fans to their feet at Jackson Prep, with one of the best seasons you’ll ever see.
.606 batting average. 68 runs scored. Both school records. Wood soon after committed to Alabama, for the beginning of what turned out to be an arduous college baseball journey.
“It’s been a lot,” Wood said. “Four years at Alabama. Three coaching changes. Two major surgeries within a year time span. At Alabama – it was an awesome time, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I did have some struggles.”
After his senior year, Wood started thinking maybe his playing days were over.
“I was actually in Nashville, doing an internship up there with one of my buddies and teammates from Alabama. He ended up getting drafted…so I was up there by myself for a couple of days. And I was like ‘you know what, I’ve got one more year left in me’. So I put my name in the portal and just kind of through some connections and phone calls, TCU ended up wanting me. So once the internship ended I headed out to Fort Worth not knowing a soul.”
TCU turned out to be the perfect spot. Wood was hitting .353 with 5 home runs before the rest of the season was canceled.
“The year was going great. We had a great team. Everybody was looking forward to what we could accomplish this year. But unfortunately that didn’t happen. All of us are kind of ready to get back to Fort Worth to kind of begin working on next year.”
And there will be a next year for Wood and his fellow seniors, thanks to the NCAA granting all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility.
“I was honestly kind of nervous about it just from what I was hearing and what I was seeing. But once the vote came out that everybody was getting a year back, it was awesome. It’s just kind of a once in a lifetime chance to do this. Especially at a program like TCU. Which is just great – it’s an opportunity to play one more year and see what happens. Hopefully make a deep postseason run.”
As for what’s next after his final year at TCU…
“My mindset is I just want to play some baseball for as long as I can. You know – the business world will always be there. So I want to see how far I can take this.”