Dave Hoskins, an assistant football coach at George Washington High in Danville, Va., was preparing for practice Monday when he looked up the hill at the school and saw some rather large, dark SUVs pull up.
“A couple of guys stepped out, and I could tell right away they were Secret Service,” Hoskins said Wednesday. “My daughter was in Army intelligence, and she had been attached to Vice Presidents Bush and then Cheney, so I knew what I was looking at. I told one of the players they were Secret Service and he didn’t believe me. I told him, ‘You’ll see in about 20 minutes.’ The next thing I knew, they multiplied and the motorcade came down to the field, and that was even before I knew that Vice President (Joe) Biden was coming to Danville.”
Monday was the first day of classes at George Washington. Head coach Bobby Martin said he found out about the visit 10 minutes before practice.
“Security came in and told me what the plan was,” Martin said. “I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody, but I told them I needed to tell at least one coach to keep all the players in line. For someone with that kind of stature, it was worth the distraction.”
Biden, who played football at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del., and the University of Delaware, spent almost an hour talking football. Several of the Secret Service agents who were former college football players also chatted with the players.
“The closest (Biden) got to politics is when he asked how many of the players were 18 and he told them to be sure to vote,” Martin said.
Martin, who is also the school’s boys basketball coach, was promoted from defensive coordinator to head football coach in May after Jimmy Teague left to become coach at Reidsville, N.C.
“He (Biden) asked me how it was going,” Martin said. “I told them, it’s kind of like he and Obama. I’ve had to scramble to try to fix a few things. He laughed at that.”