Hodges returns home

Published 8:51 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

AHOSKIE – It’s time to come home.

That’s the decision Brandon Hodges made after being offered the opportunity to become Assistant Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach at Ridgecroft School.

“Bringing the family back home is going to be fun,” Hodges said.

What lured him home? He said it was the opportunity that was afforded him by the offer at Ridgecroft.

“Having the chance to work at a private school, which is where I can work with my degree, and the opportunity to be an assistant under Coach (Doug) Cobbs, I thought would be a good fit,” Hodges said. “Also, the fact that I already know the people and some of the kids made it an easy decision.”

As for Ridgecroft, Athletic Director Doug Cobbs said he was pleased to have Hodges join the staff.

“Although we’re sorry to lose (former baseball coach) Nathan Dilday, we’re excited about having Brandon because he will be on campus every day and will interact not only with his student-athletes, but all the students,” Cobbs said.

Hodges, who is a graduate of Hertford County High School, moved his family to Pitt County several years ago to become assistant baseball coach at Pitt Community College and finish his college degree.

He earned that degree last year, completing his bachelor’s work at East Carolina University. While he was working towards graduation, however, he also spent three years as an assistant baseball coach at South Central High School.

After gaining all of that experience, he was ready to become a head coach again after having led the HCHS baseball program to a runner-up finish in the Northeastern Coastal Conference in 2002.

Still, the thought of returning home was admittedly a little nerve-wracking.

“Coming home was a little scary at first, but knowing the difference it would make for my family was important,” Hodges said. “It will give a chance for our children to be near their grandparents.

“Also, I’ll have a chance to take my son to school with me every day which is important to me as well,” he added.

While Hodges is happy to be moving back home, he said he had learned a lot while he has been living in Pitt County, has had a good church family and made connections that will help him for the rest of his career.

“It’s sad and happy to leave Pitt County,” he said. “I have met a lot of good people, had a great learning experience and been involved with a great church in Pitt County. By the same token, there are so many great people here at home and I have a wonderful opportunity here.

“I’m sad to leave a good church in Pitt County, but I’m also happy to be able to be back at a great church in Center Grove once we get moved back home,” he added.

After a year out of coaching, another exciting part for Hodges is getting back on a baseball field and building a program.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into coaching and having a chance to build something here with the younger kids that we have coming along,” he said. “I’ve been coaching for 12 years and one opportunity I’ve always wanted is to build a program.

“I think we have that opportunity here,” Hodges added. “It will take some hard work and will be challenging, but we have the chance.”

In the classroom, Hodges will be teaching history, health and physical education and weight-lifting. He said he is looking forward to having his students work diligently, but enjoy learning.

“I want to attempt to do in the classroom what I do on the field,” he said. “There will be discipline, but we’ll enjoy learning. I want a fun setting, but to understand that discipline is also important.”

Hodges is married to the former Anna Overton of Ahoskie and the couple has two children – four-year-old Isaac and five-month old Cali.