VUU announces Mark James will remain head coach of football

Virginia Union football head coach Mark James went 20-11 in three seasons, and led program to first playoff appearance since 1991.
Virginia Union football head coach Mark James went 20-11 in three seasons, and led program to first playoff appearance since 1991.

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Friday afternoon, Virginia Union released a statement that Mark James will remain the head coach of the Panthers football program.

“We are fortunate to have Coach James as Head Football Coach at Virginia Union,” said Acting President Dr. Joseph F. Johnson in the release. “We look forward to continued success in all of our athletic programs, especially football.”

On Wednesday FootballScoop.com reported James was to be relieved of his coaching duties immediately. A credible source told 8News that James was cleaning out his office and confirmed James would not return as Panthers’ head coach at the time.

When Virginia Union Athletic Director Joe Jaylor was asked under what conditions he felt there would need to be a change that evening, Taylor said, “The motto of this athletic program is ‘You can’t just be a champion on game day. You have to be a champion every day.'”

Mark James played football and graduated with a degree at Virginia Union in 2000, and the Virginia Union National Alumni Association named him Alumnus of the Year in 2007; he joined the football coaching staff in 2013 as the defensive line coach.

James was officially hired as Virginia Union’s 26th head coach in program history on January 21st, 2014.

In three seasons at Virginia Union, Mark James has gone 20-11, two winning seasons from 2014-2015 including the football program’s first NCAA D-II playoff appearance since 1991 in 2015.

Stay with 8News for updates on this story as we get them.