SHS Hires A.D.
HARRISONBURG – Tim Leach got a phone call early Friday morning. Then, he got an apologetic Facebook message.
“I’m very, very sorry for cutting you in ’95.”
The message was from Spotswood High School football coach Chris Dodson, who cut him from the junior-varsity basketball team and had been Leach’s superior at SHS since then.
Now, Leach is Dodson’s boss.
SHS principal Steve Leaman named Leach the school’s new athletic director Friday morning to fill the void left by William Andrews, who resigned this spring and has since accepted a physics teaching position at John Champe High.
Leaman said a five-member team interviewed seven of the 21 applicants being considered before choosing Leach, a 2001 Bridgewater College graduate who received his master’s in special education in 2002 and completed his administrative degree in March at James Madison University.
“Tim’s passion, work ethic, knowledge of Spotswood and willingness to provide whatever it takes to make SHS the best made him the candidate of choice,” Leaman said of Leach, who taught at Montevideo Middle School in 2002 for one year before transferring to Spotswood, where he taught special ed.
His appointment as A.D. was approved at a recent Rockingham County school board meeting.
Leach, who will turn 35 in July, has served as the defensive coordinator and associate head football coach under Dodson since 2010. Dodson said Leach was an ideal candidate for athletic director due to his attention to detail as a coach and ability to handle extra duties.
Since arriving at Spotswood, Leach has also helped coach baseball, worked with throwers and jumpers in track, driven buses for the basketball teams and done behind-the-scenes work such as football scheduling to assist Dodson, who also coaches girls’ basketball at SHS.
“It’s just, you know, those guys are good friends of mine,” Leach said, later describing Dodson as a “big brother.” “I like to be helpful in any way I can. We’re fortunate at Spotswood to have good coaches. As a young coach, I wanted to be around them and soak up as much knowledge as I could. …That’s why I volunteered and took on some odd jobs.”
Born and raised for much of his life in east Texas in the small town of Center, where the nearest interstate was two hours away, Leach moved to Elkton in 1995 for his sophomore year of high school. The Spotswood alum called the school a “special place” and was “excited for the opportunity” as an athletic director to help keep it that way.
Leach, a prolific receiver at Spotswood, played four years at Bridgewater College as an outside linebacker and helped the Eagles to their first NCAA playoff appearance and win in 2000. The next year, BC reached the Division III title game.
Just as Leach helped lay a foundation for the Eagles, SHS did the same for Leach.
“I’m just really invested in the area,” Leach said. “They took in a 16-year-old kid and kind of made me who I am today.”
Friday morning was a happy-but-rude awakening for Leach, who said he received a phone call about getting the job and had a 10 a.m. athletic directors meeting.
As for being cut by Dodson in the 10th grade?
“He did cut me. I think I was one of the last cut,” Leach recalled. “I told him I’ve been plotting my revenge ever since. Now that I finally got the job to be the boss of him, I’m going to make him pay.”
Leach, obviously joking, immediately followed that by saying, “No. He’s won a few state championships, so he knows what he’s doing. He probably made the right decision.”