Hodges resigns as St. Aloysius basketball coach

Published 11:41 am Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Richard Hodges is out as the basketball and track coach at St. Aloysius.

Hodges’ departure after two years leaves the Vicksburg Catholic School looking for a new basketball coach for the seventh time in five years.

Hodges said a disagreement with the school’s administration and possible positions at other schools led him to resign.

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“I resigned my position at St. Aloysius in order to pursue other opportunities,” Hodges said on Tuesday afternoon.

St. Aloysius athletic director Jim Taylor comfirmed that St. Al is looking for a new basketball coach.

“It was my understanding that Coach Hodges would not be back, but I wasn’t in on why,” Taylor said. “We hope to put out an advertisement by the end of the week.”

Before coming to St. Aloysius, Hodges, 48, had built an outstanding record as a high school boys basketball coach at a handful of schools in the Southeast. He won a South Carolina Association of Christian Schools state championship at Little Country School, and took Greenville-St. Joseph to the Mississippi Class 1A state tournament in 2005.

Hodges also coached future NBA stars Amaré Stoudemire and Jarrett Jack at Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. Before arriving at St. Al, Hodges had a career record of 460-121.

He had hoped to build St. Aloysius into a Catholic power in basketball, but instead his teams struggled. His boys team went 11-35 in two seasons and the girls were 12-34.

“Obviously, I’ve had most of my losses, almost 70, here,” Hodges said.

His best success came in May with the St. Al girls track and field team. The Lady Flashes won a division title, their first-ever Region 4-1A title, were second at the Class 1A South State meet and finished third overall at state.

Ford Biedenharn was Hodges’ starting point guard for the past two seasons and said Hodges brought an intensity to the basketball program.

“He’s what I call a coach’s coach,” Biedenharn said. “He knew a lot about basketball. We’d have our run-ins, but overall, I think Coach Hodges is a cool guy.”

Hodges, who was also a math teacher at the school, said he will miss his students.

“The school has great kids to work with,” Hodges said. “From a basketball point of view, there is still a lot of untapped potential. I think with more hard work, they can accomplish so much.”

The basketball positions at St. Al have been a revolving door over the past five years.

Drew McBrayer went two seasons, including a 26-4 record with the girls in 2006 and a 22-8 mark with the boys, before leaving to become an assistant at New Hope. He is now the boys head coach at New Hope.

Kyt Bonner and Penn Majors led the Lady Flashes and Flashes, respectively, to division titles and first-round wins in the Class 1A playoffs in 2007. Former NBA star and assistant coach Larry Smith lasted just seven games in the 2007-08 season before leaving to go back to the NBA’s Developmental League, then later became head coach at Alcorn State University. Gary Miller and Carolyn Bradley finished out the year. Miller coached both teams in 2008-09 and retired.