Recruits: D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia
Max James joined the Valpo football coaching staff as running backs coach prior to the Fall 2021 season.
In his first season with the program, James was part of a Valpo coaching staff that led the team to its second straight season with a Pioneer Football League record of .500 or better during the Fall 2021 campaign. That marked the first time Valpo had achieved that feat in consecutive seasons since 1999 and 2000. The Beacons won four Pioneer Football League games in the same season for just the third time ever (2017 and Spring 2021) and four league games in any conference for just the third time since 1968.
James was part of an offensive staff that helped Valpo score 298 points during the Fall 2021 campaign, the fifth most in program history. During the Nov. 6 game vs. Presbyterian and the Nov. 13 game vs. Butler, Valpo totaled 112 points in a two-game span, tying the 2017 squad (vs. Marist, vs. Morehead State) for the program’s most points over two games since 1985. The team’s 65 points in the win over Presbyterian marked its highest single-game scoring output since 1996 and the fifth-highest single-game scoring output in program history.
With James serving as running backs coach, the team rushed for 23 touchdowns in Fall 2021, the third most in the program record book and most since 1971. Valpo’s eight rushing TDs vs. Presbyterian shattered a single-game program record. In addition, Valpo finished the season as the only team in FCS and one of four teams in all of Division-I college football (joining Army West Point, Oklahoma State and Michigan) with eight rushing TDs in a single game. Robert Washington became the third 1,000-yard rusher in program history and finished the season with 1,105 rushing yards, second in Valpo lore. He finished in the top 10 nationally in FCS in rushing yards per game and total rushing yards while tying the program record for single-season rushing TDs with 14. Washington ranks ninth in program history in career rushing yards with 1,758 despite having played just 17 games at Valpo.
Washington rushed for 234 yards vs. Presbyterian, the most by a Valpo player in a single game since 2012. He received national attention for that performance, earning a “Helmet Sticker” on ESPN’s College Football Final. In addition, Nick Orekoya’s four rushing TDs vs. Presbyterian tied a program record. At season’s end, Washington was recognized with All-PFL First Team accolades.
James came to Valpo after spending time on staff at the University of Tennessee from 2019-2021 as a graduate assistant who worked with quarterbacks and wide receivers.
James was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Cincinnati Christian University from 2017-2019 and served as an offensive coach at his alma mater, St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, from 2011-2017. He was on staff at St. Xavier for an Ohio Division I state championship in 2016.
What They’re Saying About Coach James
Joe Osovet, Former Tennessee Tight Ends Coach: “Max has an amazing ability to relate to today’s student-athletes. He has a high football IQ combined with a tireless work ethic on and off the football field. The Valpo football program just got better with the addition of Max James.”
Trevor Zeiders, Point University Defensive Coordinator: “Max is a very bright and up-and-coming coach. He is passionate about the game and wants to be the best. He is willing to work diligently to improve and make those under and around him better.”