As you have probably heard by now, C.J. Woollum, the basketball coach for 26 years and the Director of Athletics for 25 years passed away last Wednesday.
I wrote Sports two years ago and became Sports Editor last year, which gave me the opportunity to do many interviews within the sports department. I was able to sit down with Mr. Woollum several times for extensive interviews and a few conversations for other various articles. He was always open and honest in these interviews, even if they were about a tough subject.
Mr. Woollum would always chat with me in the press box of football games and offer kind words when I saw him around campus. Despite athletic departments being a difficult place to navigate for a young reporter, the CNU department always felt open and welcoming.
Because C.J. Woollum was such a steady presence in the athletic department, many of the Captain’s Log sports writers became close with him. Former Captain’s Log staff Cassandra Vinch, Billy Fellin and Sean Kennedy reflect on some of their memories of C.J. Woollum.
Vinch was the Sports Editor in 2010-11 and worked closely with Woollum on many occasions. “C.J. Woollum had a monumental impact on my career as a journalist. We were from the same hometown. I would constantly turn to C.J. for advice and inspiration. he taught me to never give up on my dreams, and don’t let anyone get in my way,” she said.
Fellin was in charge of the Sports section from 2009-10 and had the opportunity to speak with Woollum many times. “Being able to interview and get to know people like him made me want to get into sports journalism even more. I thought ‘wow, if I get to work with people like him, this will be a great gig.’ Of course, there was only one C.J. Woollum and I feel really lucky that I got to talk with him the few times that i did.”
Kennedy, Sports Editor from 2004-05 added “C.J. Woollum was one of my first interviews when I joined the Captain’s Log. He was tremendously helpful to me, a green sports journalist. His impact on CNU is immense – he’ll be missed.”