MUNCIE, Ind. - - Joe Rogers, who most recently served as an assistant coach at Army for 14 seasons (2000-13), has been named an assistant coach for the Ball State women’s track & field and cross country programs according to head coach Randy Heisler. Rogers will oversee the Cardinals’ distance runners.
Prior to his 14-year stint at Army, Rogers served as Ball State’s head men’s track & field and cross country coach from 1985-1999. He retired as the program’s coach following the 1999 cross country season.
“We are very excited to have someone with Joe’s years of experience join our staff,” Heisler said. “He is one of the most experienced and well-respected coaches in the country, and will be a great asset to our program.”
At Army, Rogers worked primarily with the jumpers and hurdlers. He helped his student-athletes establish eight Academy records and 96 marks which ranked among the top 10 in West Point history. On the conference level, Rogers helped the Black Knights capture 63 individual Patriot League titles.
“I am absolutely delighted to come back to Ball State and help Randy with the women's program,” Rogers said. “We have 13 terrific young women in our distance program who are working diligently to make good strides for the cross country season. I am confident they can produce some excellent results.”
In his stint as the head men’s track & field and cross country coach at Ball State, Rogers helped guide the 1987 cross country team to the Mid-American Conference Championship, which earned him MAC Coach of the Year accolades. In 1989, he led the cross country squad to a 19th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a ranking of 14th in the final national poll.
Rogers earned the 1990 MAC and NCAA District IV Coach of the Year accolades after leading the Cardinals’ track team to a program-best second-place league finish. He tutored John Harmeyer to NCAA Cross Country All-America honors in 1990 and Cary Chandler and Scott Sanders to NCAA Track & Field All-America accolades in 1990 and 1989, respectively. In addition, his student-athletes made four appearances in the NCAA Championships and captured 14 Mid-American Conference individual or relay titles.
Prior to his time at Ball State, Rogers spent nine seasons (1976-85) as the head track & field and cross country coach at Hillsdale College, where he coached 17 NAIA All-Americans, including seven national champions and four national runners-up. Three of his Hillsdale cross country teams finished in the top 10 at the national meet. Rogers was also selected as an NAIA District Coach of the Year in cross country three times (1976, 1978 and 1983), while earning the honor once in track (1978).
Rogers also had coaching stints at Olivet College (1971-76), Indianapolis Marshall High School (1969-71) and Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio (1966-69).
Rogers also has international experience, coming first as the assistant manager for the USA team which competed in Bremen, Germany, against the West German team in 1985. He was also the head coach of the U.S. team which won a triangular running meet versus England and Kenya in 1990. Rogers served as the head manager on the U.S. Junior Pan-American team which competed in Santiago, Chile, in 1995. He was an assistant coach for the North team competing in the National Sports Festival in 1983 and was the head coach of the same team competing in the US Olympic Festival in 1987.
Prior to coaching, Rogers was a pole vaulter at Miami University where he earned his bachelor’s (1966) and master’s (1970) degrees.
Rogers and his wife, Irene, have two children (son Jason and daughter Blythe) and two grandchildren (granddaughter Makayla and grandson Cameron). His daugther, Blythe, was a four-year letterwinner for both the Ball State women's cross country (1995-98) and track and field (1996-2000) programs, earning Academic All-MAC accolades five times over her career.
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