Tidewater Academy hires new coach

Published 8:19 am Friday, August 7, 2009

WAKEFIELD—Tidewater Academy has hired its third football coach in three years. David Rodgers, a graduate of Virginia State University, will head up the program, which has seen hard times in the last few years.

Rodgers, who lives in Richmond and is a graduate student at Virginia State, applied for the position after he was recommended by a former co-worker whose son plays on the team. Rodgers played high school ball at several high schools in Virginia Beach, including Salem High. He played four years at Virginia State and had tryouts with some Arena Football League teams. He had been coaching as a student assistant and graduate assistant at Virginia State. Rodgers has played quarterback, running back, receiver, kick returner and punt returner.

Rodgers noted he is commuting about an hour and 10 minutes each way to get to practice and that he is burning up the gas.

“It’s an opportunity, and I had to take it,” he said during a phone interview on his way home from the team’s first practice on Monday.

Tidewater Academy has not won a game since 2005 and is in the middle of a 31-game losing streak. Although this is Rodgers’ first high school coaching experience, he hopes to do a lot of teaching.

“I want to teach these guys football. I’m trying to take my knowledge from college and have them study the game period,” he said. “They have big hearts. They listen to everything I say and are working hard every day. I think they can win some games. They have had a different coach every year. I hope that I can be there for awhile.”

Practice began on Monday for the Warriors. “Their first day in my system they wanted to run. It wasn’t slow. We were going three-quarters speed,” he said. “We were getting the technique and the plays down.”

Rodgers said he hopes Warrior football will shock everyone this year.

“I am confident in myself and I feel like I know the game of football. The heart they have, I think we can do something special,” Rodgers said. “In my mind, I want to win every game. We get that first win, everything else is going to come right after that.

Tidewater Academy opens the season at home against Portsmouth Christian on Aug. 28.