Woodyard graduated from Western Michigan University in December 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Creative Writing. His accumulative grade point average was a 3.38. At WMU, Woodyard worked for the Western Herald for three years and produced his own blog, “Flintstone TV,” with exclusive web content and videos, including coverage of Detroit Pistons and Michigan State Spartans games for the SLAM magazine’s website.
His most memorable story, he says, was a three-page article that appeared in SLAM 140 on Flint legend Terry Furlow who died at 25-years-old in a car accident. Furlow played in the NBA and at Michigan State University where he still holds records for basketball.
“Eric has done a great job freelancing for SLAM, mostly with his video-heavy blog posts on SLAMonline.com, but also with a couple of timely print articles that have fit well with our mission as the best basketball magazine in the world,” said SLAM Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ben Osborne. “He’s a reliable and professional writer that we’re glad to be associated with.”
Woodyard has interviewed NBA legends like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson; NFL players Brandon Carr and Louis Delmas; College athletes Denard Robinson and Draymond Green; rappers J.Cole and Big Sean plus many more. He was one of the first journalists to report on Flint’s Olympic gold boxing medalist Claressa Shields. He took second place for the best sports feature story in the Michigan Press Association’s 2012 Better Newspaper Contest on a piece he wrote on Shields prior to her rise at the 2012 London Olympics.
Woodyard is a Wade H. McCree Incentive Scholarship Program (ISP) scholar and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). He has free-lanced features for various publications, interned at WJRT-TV 12 in Flint and at WMMT-TV Channel 3 and the Public Media Network television stations in Kalamazoo.
“His ambition and excitement for the craft stand out among the scores of students I’ve taught over the years,” said Sue Ellen Christian, a journalism professor at WMU. “He embraces how today’s technology can help him tell stories in different ways, yet he also had the age-old gift of knowing how to make a source want to share his or her story.”
“Eric is a good friend but even more so an inspiration for young writers in our community. Born and raised in Flint, MI; he was able to return to his hometown as a professional pursuing his dream. Eric is my definition of a true IMPACTOR. The city is very lucky to have Eric around. He covers stories that interest the demographic he was raised in. It gives young inner city youths a reason and interest in reading. The positive benefits from that alone are endless.” – Kellen E. Brandon