Alumni Spotlight: Eron Hodges, JWHS Class of 2002

4/11/2018, 1:16 p.m.
Joliet West High School Class of 2002 alumnus Eron Hodges is thriving in his current career as Assistant Director of ...
Joliet West High School Class of 2002 alumnus Eron Hodges.

Career at-a-glance

• Graduated from Joliet West High School 2002

• United State Navy 2002-06

• Florida State College 2006-07

• College of DuPage 2007-09

• Illinois State 2009-12 (B.S. in Exercise Science)

• University of Notre Dame (Strength Intern) 2012

• Valparaiso University (Outside LB Coach) 2012

• The Ohio State University (Strength Intern) 2013

• Kent State 2013-15 (M.A. in Sports Management)

• The Ohio State University Football(2015-Present)

Joliet West High School Class of 2002 alumnus Eron Hodges is thriving in his current career as Assistant Director of Player Personnel for one of the top college football teams in the country, The Ohio State University Football. How did he get into this career that he loves and enjoys?

As a child, Hodges studied at Gunsaulus Academy in the south side of Chicago and Hufford Jr. High School in Joliet. At Joliet West High School, Hodges participated in Drama, the Spring Musical, Track & Field, and Football. Several high school teachers inspired him, and Hodges said, “Kelly Hennessy, James Holba, Bill Wienke, Staff Sergeant Littlepage, Roger Plechaty and Ms. Ryan – each one of them played a critical role in my development.”

After graduating from Joliet West High School in 2002, he proudly served in the US Navy for four years. After his service, Hodges attended Florida State College before becoming a JC National champion sprinter at the College of DuPage. He earned his undergraduate degree from Illinois State and his graduate degree from Kent State. He went on to work at prestigious institutions like the University of Notre Dame and The Ohio State University.

He now works as Assistant Director of Player Personnel, a vitally important management position on both professional and college sports teams, for The Ohio State University Football. Sports management has evolved so that the position has a dual role in both player recruitment and in player support. However, player recruitment is an ADPP's primary role, especially at the college level.

Hodges has received the following awards: 2018 - 2nd in the Nation in recruiting, Big Ten Conference Champion, Cotton Bowl Champion, 2017 - 2nd in the Nation in recruiting, Big Ten East Co-Champion, College Football Playoff Selection, 2016 - 5th in the Nation in Recruiting, Big Ten East Co-Champion, and Fiesta Bowl Champion.

Although Hodges’ journey may seem picture-perfect, Hodges recognized that he has worked hard to overcome challenges and get to where he is now. Hodges said with self-awareness and wisdom, “I remember being in school trying to be cool, getting a 1.78 GPA, and my late mother kicking me off the football team my senior year. I remember running track for only one year and getting letters from colleges to run track, but I did not have the grades. If I could do it all over again (which I cannot), I would be at least a 3.0 student. I have been playing catch up to my graduating class since I left JTHS. It took 13 years to catch up. For every year that I goofed around in high school, it set me back 3.25 years behind the elite students in my graduating class.”

When asked what advice he would give to current high school students, Hodges shared this empowering message, “Don’t get distracted by things that don’t matter. Being a class clown does not matter. Being disrespectful does not matter. Bullying and making fun of people does not make you cool or important in the grand scheme of things. What matter is learning and not wasting time. Maximize the moment, or you will spend 13 years trying to catch up. Most people do not bounce back. I am just blessed. Yesterday I was sitting in our staff room, and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m literally in the room alone with Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Rich Rodriguez, Greg Schiano and Ken Wilson.’ Life is what you make it. You control what your life will be. You are unbelievably powerful.”