Riverbend’s new football coach thrilled to get a second chance

by | Apr 11, 2024 | ALLFFP, High school sports, Schools & Education, Sports, Spotsylvania

When Ed Webb was the head football coach at Northumberland High School for one season in 2013, it coincided with a painful chapter in his life. 

His father, Phillip Webb, a longtime assistant coach at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, died. 

Webb was also distressed because his former coaching colleague at Louisa High, Mark Fischer, was diagnosed with cancer. As if those stressors weren’t enough, he was driving 1 ½ hours one way to coach the Indians.

Webb eventually resigned because it was too difficult to manage along with helping his mother on the farm in Bumpass and raising his own children. 

“I didn’t want to leave Northumberland,” Webb said. “But at the same time, I had all these things at home taking me away from the kids and what we were trying to build.”  

More than a decade later, Webb is getting his second shot as a head coach.  

The former Patrick Henry High and Virginia Military Institute offensive lineman was hired as a replacement for Nathan Yates at Riverbend High School. His appointment was approved by the Spotsylvania County School Board earlier this week. 

Webb, 45, said it is an “amazing” experience to get another chance to lead a program. 

After his stint at Northumberland, Webb returned to Louisa for three seasons. He then headed to his alma mater, Patrick Henry, and served on its staff for seven years.  

“He seemed to have all the things we’re looking for in a head coach,” Riverbend Athletic Director Jesse Lohr said. “He is a family guy. He is a leader of men. He is a high-energy guy who is going to come in and see what we have been doing here and build off that. He understands we are not rebuilding, but we are reloading.” 

The Bears finished 7-5 in 2023. They won a Region 5D playoff game over Independence before their season ended with a defeat to Briar Woods in the second round of the postseason. 

Webb served as the offensive coordinator his first two years at Patrick Henry. He also coached the offensive line, defensive line and directed the weight room. The Patriots had a three-year stint between 2019-21 when they went 25-8. They reached the Class 4 semifinals in ‘19. 

Webb said the best way to describe his coaching style is “an offensive coach with a defensive mentality.” 

“We want to control the clock, play amazing defense and get our skill guys the ball when we can get it to them,” Webb said. “We’re going to be hard-nosed and tough. We will set a standard and hold the kids to it.” 

Webb, who was hired to teach health and physical education, will meet players and parents next Thursday. He said part of his message will be that he wants the program to make a positive impact on the community. 

He noted that was a major reason for Fischer’s success at Louisa before he died in 2019. 

“We want to build great young men first,” Webb said. “We want to build community leaders. We want to do things the right way, get out in the community and be an example of servant leadership. We want to be that shining star on the hill, where parents will be proud to send their kids, and kids will be proud to be a Riverbend Bear.” 

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