Rodemaker said he was aware of Tuesday’s vote but didn’t attend and assumed that he’d be retained. Rodemaker said he was supported by his superintendent and principal.
“I had no real inkling that I could lose my job last night [Tuesday],” Rodemaker said. “I wasn’t given notice that [his job status] was an issue. That’s the part that really bothers me. ... I’ve never had a conversation with those board members. They’re not parents of any player. It’s really unbelievable how something like this in 2020 can happen.”
Valdosta has won 24 state titles, the most of any Georgia program. Valdosta has 932 victories all-time, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. That ranks No. 1 nationally.
The program had continued to win but not reached previous levels this century. Valdosta’s nine playoff victories under Rodemaker are the most over a four-year span since 1995-98.
Rodemaker’s departure marks at second time that Valdosta has fired a coach who won a state title. In 2002, Valdosta parted ways with Mike O’Brien, whose eight-year record was 70-20-1.
Rodemaker was Valdosta’s defensive coordinator for six seasons under Rance Gillespie before he was promoted to head coach.
Rodemaker’s son, Tate, recently committed to Florida State. He passed for 3,234 yards and 43 touchdowns and was named first-team all-state.