Former Bulldog Rogers on Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame Poll
The late Darryl Rogers, who ruffled his feathers locally in the early 1970s when he escaped from Fresno state, is on the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame ballot.
Rogers, a former wide receiver for the Bulldogs, became the head coach of Fresno State in 1966. He led the Bulldogs to a 43-32-1 record with six winning seasons and two bowl appearances. He then left the state of Fresno to take the top job at arch-rivals San Jose State.
His decision baffled many Bulldogs fans, but at the time San Jose State offered a better recruiting base and invested more in its program than Fresno State – even though both competed in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association.
Rogers ‘intuition about changing jobs paid off as his success with the Spartans led him to become Michigan State head coach, where he was Sporting News’ Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1977 and National Coach of the Year in 1978 .
“What does a coach have to do to get fired?”
Rogers later trained at Arizona State (1980-84) before returning to Michigan to take on the head coaching job of the Detroit Lions. The Lions went 7-9 in Rogers’ first season but struggled thereafter. He finished his Lions stint with an 18-40 record.
With the Lions, Rogers made a famous joke: “What does a trainer have to do here to get fired?”
Rogers celebrated his biggest hit in Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to a 37-18-1 record, which was highlighted by a Fiesta Bowl win. His total college coaching record was 129-84-7 over 20 seasons.
After the NFL, Rogers coached Winnipeg in the Canadian Football League for the 1991 season. The Blue Bombers went 9-9 and lost in the Eastern Conference finals.
Rogers, an outstanding wide receiver in the state of Fresno, was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in late 1957. However, he signed up with the U.S. Marines and continued to play football as Leatherneck.
Rogers died in 2018
When his coaching days ended, Rogers and his wife Marsha returned to the Fresno area. By then, the Bulldogs fans’ bitterness had faded, and Rogers would often delight local sports groups with his soccer stories and sense of humor.
Rogers died peacefully of natural causes at his home in Friant on July 11, 2018. He was 84.
Rogers will be assisted by Larry Blakeney, Jim Carlen, Pete Cawthon Sr., Larry Coker, Billy Jack Murphy and Gary Pinkel in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision 2022 coach selection.
The College Football Hall of Fame Class 2022 announcement will be made in early 2022.
The full ballot papers of the players and coaches can be found at this link.
Rogers was also on the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame voting.