Wednesday was a day of unprecedented coaching turnover at Jamestown High. The school's head football and boys basketball coaches met with their teams during the day to announce they had resigned, while Williamsburg-James City County Schools posted a job opening for the Jamestown High athletic director position.
Football coach Rodney Redd and boys basketball coach Geoff McCulloch cited resigning for family reasons. Redd will remain a teacher at Albemarle High in Charlottesville and McCulloch will move to neighboring Warhill High, where he will teach and coach the boys basketball team.
It is unclear why the athletic director job is open, but WJCC Schools listed it on its website along with the football and basketball openings early Wednesday afternoon. Don Samuels, a teacher, coach and athletic administrator for 30 years, has served as Jamestown's athletic director for nearly five years.
Samuels and Jamestown principal Dr. Catherine Worley were not available Wednesday to comment on the openings.
Redd accepted the Eagles' position in January. In his resignation letter addressed to Worley and Samuels, Redd cited "factors that will prevent my family from moving to the Williamsburg area in the fall," but said he would like to keep those reasons private at this time.
A former N.C. State football standout, Redd's coaching experience includes assistant coaching positions on the collegiate level at Virginia State and Western Carolina, as well as a successful stint as head coach at Monticello in Charlottesville. He also served as athletic director at his alma mater, Magna Vista High and said, after a break from coaching, he might want to become an AD again.
He reportedly had shown lots of enthusiasm as Jamestown football coach the past two months, commuting at least twice a week in the early morning to conduct weight-lifting sessions before driving back to Albemarle to teach. He said that he was tendering his resignation at Jamestown with sadness.
"I sincerely appreciate the opportunity and have enjoyed getting to know you and your school community over the past couple of months," he wrote in the letter. " My short time in your circle has revealed what I already expected, (that) the Jamestown High School community is first class and the football program has the ability to have a tremendous amount of sustained success.
"A special thanks to many people associated with the program, including, but not limited to, the football staff members that are in place. There has been a great deal of positive momentum and the program has the ability to continue to move forward."
Redd replaced Lee Williams, who resigned in November after three seasons as the Eagles' head coach. Williams guided the Eagles to playoff berths his first two seasons, but in 2014, Jamestown — possibly the youngest varsity football team in Bay Rivers District history — fell to 0-10.
After meeting with Jamestown's players Wednesday, Redd said he was disappointed he would not be their coach.
"I felt we had great support from Dr. Worley and were changing the (football) culture there," Redd said. "There were triple the number of players in the weight room than when I started there, and they were showing the excitement and consistency we needed to build a base."
McCulloch replaces Justin Hayes, who coached Warhill's boys team since 2007, when the school opened. McCulloch, who guided West Point High to a Group A Division 1 state final before coming to Jamestown, coached the Eagles for one season.
The Eagles fared surprisingly well in 2014-15, finishing 10-12 and winning a first-round game in the Conference 19 tournament. McCulloch said that he is moving to Warhill to be there with his daughter, who is a freshman at the school.
"This is not a basketball-related decision," said McCulloch, who broke the news to Jamestown's players after school Wednesday. "This is a family related decision."
Samuels was a longtime teacher, boys and girls soccer and field hockey coach, as well as activities director in York County before moving in 2010 to Jamestown. He coached Grafton High's field hockey team to a AA state title.
During his tenure as AD at Jamestown, the athletic program perennially has been among the most successful in the state. The Eagles have won multiple state titles in swimming and golf, as well as state championships in boys soccer and girls tennis.
O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.