Recently, the Berkeley High School (BHS) football team has had difficulties maintaining positive records in both league and overall standings. For the past two years they have finished at the bottom of their league, and with a particularly negative season last year with zero wins, it was clear that a change in the program was becoming necessary.
This change has been manifested in the form of a new varsity head coach, James Hodgins. Coach Hodgins has been coaching football for eight years, spending the most recent six years as head coach at Berean Christian High School in Walnut Creek, a powerhouse football program ranked fifth in North Coast Section Division I, while Berkeley is ranked 205th. Prior to coaching, he spent eight years in the National Football League (NFL) as a fullback. Hodgins led his high school team to success and winning seasons, with records such as 11-2 and 8-4 in recent years.
When asked about his reasons for leaving such a successful program, he says that he wanted to “focus on helping young men in an inner city public school,” choosing BHS because its diverse student body paired with its world-class education deserves a world-class football program as well. He adds, “Football is an amazing sport that can bring unity where there was once division, and pride where there was once shame.” He defines a successful football program as one where the team not only wins games, but where players learn to compete in life and the classroom as well.
Hodgins also describes his longer-term goals for the program, outlining that he has “always had the objective to coach at a big-time program and play other top division schools such as Clayton Valley Charter and De La Salle High School.” Transforming a sports program is difficult but it seems Hodgins may be the man for the job. Going forward, things appear to be headed in the right direction for the BHS football team, and hopefully, Coach Hodgins can have as much success here as he has had in previous programs.