Jeremy Eubank: developing athletes, youth of character

Jeremy Eubank dons the Chatham Hall purple and leads the varsity girls’ soccer team, in addition to his duties as athletic director.

Altavista native Jeremy Eubank has built a career in coaching and directing athletics. But that is not the bottom line for him: he is also developing young adults of character through his example and leadership. Eubank currently serves as Director of Athletics at Chatham Hall; his road there has led him through many challenges and setbacks as well as successes.

A 2005 graduate of Altavista High School, Eubank played soccer under legendary coach George Grzenda, who founded Altavista’s soccer program, coached it for 28 years, and served statewide as the longtime VHSL soccer rules interpreter. After graduating, Eubank moved on to Ashford University, where he studied communications and marketing.

While still in college, he returned to his alma mater in Number One Colonel Country and began serving as assistant coach under his old coach, Grzenda. He served in that role from 2009 to 2014. Meanwhile, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2011.

In 2014, the young coach moved his employment down the road to Chatham, taking on the role of head varsity soccer coach and director of the soccer program at Hargrave Military Academy. He also worked as admissions counselor.

As soccer coach, Eubank brought a new level of discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship to  the program, a change that both referees and other coaches noticed. In 2016 he was honored as the Virginia Independent Conference (VIC) Coach of the Year. In 2020, Hargrave bestowed on him the Mike Broomell Award for excellence in coaching. He also led the team to a winning record.

While soccer is his first love, Eubank is not a one-sport coach. In 2017, he added on the roles of Hargrave’s track and field coach and program director. The program saw rapid success under his leadership, with the team winning the VIC Conference championship in 2018. In that same year, Eubank was recognized as VIC track and field coach of the year.

Not only did Eubank develop his student-athletes in their athletic ability, but he also helped them in the collegiate recruiting process. Furthermore, he instilled in them a strong sense of self-discipline, work ethic, and respect.

Along the way during his tenure at Hargrave, Eubank earned a master’s degree in human services and business from Liberty University in 2015. In 2017, he moved from admissions counselor to registrar at Hargrave.

Meanwhile, Eubank wanted to take on a bigger role in school athletics and sought an athletic director position. “I applied to 19 jobs over the last few years, and I was a finalist in seven of them,” he noted.

While coming close but not landing a position was disheartening, the experience was not without its benefits. “I learned a lot of things in those challenges, including never giving up and believing in myself.’

Finally in 2021 all the searching and hard work paid off, and Eubank was appointed director of athletics at Chatham Hall. The move meant a change in workplace a mile away and a switch from a boys’ school to a girls’ school, from the Tigers to the Turtles. He now has the helm of a soccer program with the unique feature of the field located adjacent to an equestrian facility. The move to AD also allows him to impact more student-athletes as well as to hire and help coaches develop.

Reflecting on his experience, Eubank remarked, "going through the process, it allowed me to really think about the next step that I wanted to take. I knew I wanted to be at a school where academics, character development, and athletics played a central role in student development. When the position at Chatham Hall opened up, I could see myself really making the same impact and being able to work with students that are driven to succeed in all areas. Since I have started here, I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of being the Director of Athletics and know that I am in the right place."

Perhaps the biggest lesson Eubank learned in his job search was to trust God “One thing I’ve seen is that God has a plan, and it was better than I could have imagined. What I have is a get to job, not a got to job; I get to work with students that want to excel in all areas of education and athletics,” he remarked.

The athletic director’s position is not without its challenges. He recounted the biggest challenge he has faced in the short time he has been at Chatham Hall. “We had a beloved member of the Chatham Hall community who had stepped in to coach this past fall, who passed away this past fall. Nothing can prepare you for this, but our Chatham Hall family has been very resilient and supportive of one another."

On the positive side, he has observed that the students “are positive about athletics.” He has seen good participation levels in the various sports, and this year, Eubank is adding track & field and golf teams to the school’s sports offerings.

In addition to his work on-site at Chatham Hall, the new role includes other responsibilities, such as representing the school at Blue Ridge Conference and Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) meetings. He also serves on the VIAAA (Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) as the Independent Southwest Representative and is a member of the VISAA Girls Soccer Committee.

Recently Eubank was featured in a pair of podcasts, one of which directly related to his role in the VIAAA. Jim Harris interviewed him for the radio podcast “On the Road with the VIAAA” concerning the state of affairs in that organization. The podcast can be found at https://anchor.fm/ontheroadwiththeviaaa/episodes/Episode-6---Jeremy-Eubank---Director-of-Athletics-Chatham-Hall-e1e1bov.

The second podcast was a video in the program The Educational Athletic Director with Jake von Scherrer, president of the Florida Interscholastic Administrators Association. Eubank had attended a conference for new ADs last July and picked up von Scherrer’s book. He commented online about how much he liked the book, and the author and podcast host invited him to be the featured guest on one of the podcast episodes.

On the nationwide podcast, Eubank shared his journey to becoming an athletic director and some of the “best practices” he has learned along the way, including tools he gathered from von Scherrer’s book and has implemented into the program at Chatham Hall. That podcast can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8vCOUDB2J4.

In addition to his responsibilities at Chatham Hall and the VIAAA, in 2020 Eubank became an assistant coach in the Olympic Development Soccer Program in Virginia’s Western District, working with players aged U12 to U19. The program is part o the VYSA, Virginia Youth Soccer Association.

Eubank is also a board member of Southside Soccer Club in Blairs.

He has been married to Abby Eubank (nee Wilkerson) for 13 and a half years, and they have a three and a half year old daughter, Zoe. His father-in-law is well known in Altavista and in Campbell County. Donnie Wilkerson is the Apprenticeship Coordinator at Campbell County Technical Center and the longtime, well-loved assistant cross country coach at Altavista Combined School. Jeremy and his family live in Altavista.