Former San Jose State, Detroit Lions coach dies

Darryl Rogers, who led San Jose State’s football program back to respectability in the 1970s and later coached the Detroit Lions, has died. He was 83.

The one-time Cal State Hayward head coach known for his wide-open offensive attacks also coached at Fresno State, Arizona State and Michigan State, where his top weapon was receiver-turned-baseball star Kirk Gibson.

“His passing is disappointing, but I can tell you I feel so good about Darryl,” Gibson told Lansing, Mich. radio station WTQX-FM on Wednesday. “His spirit is so powerful that he’ll continue to work magic with us all.”

Rogers certainly worked magic at San Jose State from 1973-75, when he led the Spartans to a 22-9-3 record and their first conference title in 26 years. Under Rogers, San Jose State was ranked No. 20 in the AP poll in ’75, its first appearance in the poll in 36 years.

RIP Darryl Rogers. Legendary San Jose State Head Football Coach.

— SanJoseStateFootball (@SJSUSpartanFB) July 11, 2018

He got his first head coaching job in Hayward in 1965, leading the Pioneers to a 3-7 season before heading to Fresno State for seven years. In all, Rogers went 129-84-7 in 20 seasons as a college coach. He was the national coach of the year in 1979 at Michigan State.

Success didn’t follow him to the NFL, where Rogers coached the Lions from 1985-88 and finished with just an 18-40 record in Detroit. His time in the NFL may be best remembered for what he once told reporters during a Lions losing skid, “What’s a coach have to do to get fired around here?”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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