|Mark James (left) is introduced as the new Virginia Union football coach by VUU athletic director Joe Taylor. (photo by Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times Dispatch)|
Virginia Union defensive line coach Mark James has been named head coach for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference school.
James replaces Michael Bailey, who was dismissed in December after a 3-7 season in which they lost the first three games and the last four. The Panthers were 22-28 during Bailey's six years and haven't had a winning season since 2009.
“I’m very humble at this moment,” James said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “These dear old walls mean a lot to me. These students, the faculty mean a lot. After this press conference, it’s the last time I really want to focus on myself. We have a lot of work to do and I want the focus to be on those young men to get it done.”
James has been the defensive line coach for the past two years after a successful tenure as a high school football coach in Florida. He also served as an assistant at Norfolk State and St. Paul's College.
His focus at Virginia Union will be to change attitudes, he said.
“We have to change the attitude,” James said. “We have to change the attitude and let these young men who are on this team understand that winning isn’t easy. That you have to win in practice, you have to win academically, you have to win at study hall and that you have to win at every place that counts.