My goal is for our players to develop to be the best student-athletes they can be. I do this by teaching my players to be fundamentally sound, know their own strengths, understand the game and the dynamics of teamwork, and to be intense competitors. I love teaching, coaching, and competing. I find that so much teaching can be done in an environment that promotes healthy competition and personal development. I value loyalty, honesty, and trust. I also feel that AAU is a place where coaches and families can work together to help our student-athletes learn these values.
Head Coach: Julie Pinkard
Coach Pinkard grew up attending Chesterfield County Schools, played basketball at Monacan High School, and continued on to play at George Mason University. She went to James Madison University for graduate school, and currently works for Hanover County Public Schools as a School Psychologist.
Her varsity coaching history includes Thomas Edison High School in Fairfax County, and Patrick Henry High School in Hanover County. She also coached at Liberty Middle School from 1997 to 2013.
Coach Pinkard was instrumental in Cardinal’s AAU program in Northern VA starting up. She has been involved with coaching for James River Blaze since the program was founded in 1984. Since moving back to Richmond in 1997, she has coached AAU teams at each developmental level from 6th through 11th grade. Her teams have won state championships, finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th place at Division I Nationals, and won the Boo Williams Nike Spring Invitational. She has been the Coaching Coordinator for James River Blaze for the past ten years.