Dougherty coached at Stonewall for the past six years, leading the Raiders to the Virginia 6A North region semifinals where they fell to eventual state champ Centreville this past fall. Prior to that, Dougherty served as the head coach at Dominion for five years, during which he and his family settled in Leesburg. Now as he prepares to take over at Woodson, where his wife attended high school, Dougherty is excited for both the challenge of reviving the Cavaliers and a shorter commute to work.
“It’s a really good setup over there at Woodson, and I’ve been looking all along at a place where I could have my family and my job in the same spot,” said Dougherty, who made the 30-mile trek from Leesburg to Manassas for the past six years. “If we were going to pull our kids out of school and relocate, it had to be the right place, and we immediately had a good feeling about Woodson and the position.”
Under Dishun, the Cavaliers went 7-23 in three seasons and failed to make the playoffs. Dougherty said he plans to implement the same high-octane offense that helped him lead Stonewall to two playoff appearances and average 32.4 points on 79 plays per game last season. Leading the way were quarterback Greg Stroman and lineman Diandre Stubbs, who signed to play at Virginia Tech and Iowa Western, respectively, on Wednesday.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever not be uptempo because I feel it truly puts you at an advantage over your opponent and takes them out of their comfort zone when you play and practice that way,” Dougherty said. “Of course, we’ll evaluate our personnel to see what exactly the game plan will be, but we’ll definitely be bringing that type of offense.”
Dougherty, along with Woodson’s 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame class, will be introduced and recognized at halftime of Friday’s basketball game against West Potomac.