Hodges takes reins of James River football program

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 11:54 PM EDT
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MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at area high school football programs and you’ll notice a handful of former UVA players roaming the sidelines as head coaches. Phillip Sims is beginning his second season at J.R. Tucker, Perry Jones leads the Jaguars of Glen Allen and now one of their former college teammates has landed a head job as well.

Jacob Hodges has been named the new head coach at James River. Hodges was a holder on extra points and field goals for the Cavaliers from 2010-2012, but always knew he wanted to pursue coaching on the gridiron.

“When I got to college, I walked on at UVA knowing that I wanted to become a coach,” said Hodges, whose father was a high school football coach as well. “I approached Coach London and told him that was my goal and he did a lot to help mentor me as well as the other coaches on the staff.”

Hodges was most recently an assistant coach at Atlee, spending three years on Matt Gray’s staff with the Raiders. Leading the Rapids will mark his first head coaching job.

James River is looking for its first winning season since 2017. The Rapids finished 2-4 last year in a season split by James Riley and Kyle Freedman at the helm.

Hodges joined the UVA football team as a walk-on following a stint as the team’s manager. He had the chance to be part of some special teams trickery, including a touchdown pass on a fake field goal during a game against Maryland in 2010.

“Some of our players actually found that last week. I hadn’t really brought that up,” he smiled. “That was exciting getting to be a little bit more involved with running some plays and things like that.”

James River will open its season against L.C. Bird on August 26.

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