Julian Mendez coaching athletes

Julian Mendez named first Head Football Coach in William Woods history

Julian Mendez has been named Head Football Coach at William Woods University (WWU), Director of Athletics Steve Wilson announced today.

“Julian Mendez is an exciting hire and the perfect fit to be the first head football coach at The Woods,” said Wilson. “He brings the ability to establish a brand and program culture that will set us up for success from the start, and believes in our vision. He is also extremely well connected and an incredible recruiter, and is already forming a staff that will be one of the best in the NAIA. I am excited to see Coach Mendez get to work, start the program and build it under his leadership.”

Mendez will bring 13 years of coaching experience at different levels of college (NAIA, NJCAA, NCAA Division II) and high school (Class 6A Texas High School) football to the Owls, including serving as an Associate Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator. He is the first head football coach ever at William Woods University, which is adding the sport for the first time in its 153-year history; the Owls will begin play in 2024.

“At William Woods, our vision is one of setting high standards and making progress in all we do as a University, including in academics and athletics,” said Dr. Jeremy Moreland, President of William Woods. “We all agree that Coach Mendez fits well with our vision and is the perfect choice as our inaugural head football coach. We are excited to welcome Coach Mendez into the Owl family of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.”

“Coach Mendez is an exciting hire because of his deep commitment to student experience,” said Dr. Ted Blashak, Senior Vice President and Chief Student Experience Officer. “Through our conversations, it was evident that he wants to establish a program that pumps energy in to our entire campus, especially on fall Saturdays.”

Mendez currently serves as the Offensive Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator at Odessa (Texas) High School (enrollment: 3,890), one of the most powerful high school programs in the country in the famed Class 6A division in Texas, responsible for coordinating and implementing offensive game plans and recruiting visits from college coaches for Odessa.

Previously, Mendez served as Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator at Ottawa (Kansas) University from 2019-2022, where he was involved in every aspect of the football program, including preparing and implementing offensive game plans; coordinating recruiting; coordinating academics; overseeing eligibility; and personally recruiting players in junior colleges in California and Iowa and high school players in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

“I can’t thank President Moreland, Director of Athletics Wilson and the rest of the William Woods Family for this amazing opportunity to be the first Head Football Coach in program history,” Mendez said. “I am excited to get started and engrain myself in not only the William Woods community but also the community of Fulton. William Woods football will strive to put a product on the Field, in the Classroom and in the Community that Owl Nation can be proud of. Go Owls!” 

Additional experience includes serving as Offensive Line Coach and Travel Coordinator at Northeastern (Oklahoma) St. University (2015-2018); Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach at Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College (2013-2014) and Graduate Assistant/Offensive Line Coach at Ottawa University (2011-2012)

Mendez is a graduate of Ottawa University, earning his Master’s in Education (2013) and Bachelor’s in Recreation and Sports Administration (2010). A two-year letter winner at both Ottawa and Southwestern (California) Community College, he earned first team All-Conference honors as an offensive tackle in 2009. He is married to Samantha Mendez.

In addition to tackle football, WWU announced the addition of Women’s Flag Football on May 22, 2023. The Owls will begin competition in Flag Football in 2025; the announcement of the hiring of a head coach is expected next week.