Rogers: He promoted Hall of Famers, is one
This is the fifth in a series of six profiles of your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013 to be inducted Friday night at the Jackson Hilton as part of the BancorpSouth Induction Weekend.
Langston Rogers, who has won virtutally every award and honor a sports information director can win, adds another honor to his list Friday night:
Induction into your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
This will be Rogers’ sixth Hall of Fame honor, following induction into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSida) Hall of Fame in 1990, the Mississippi Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 1997, the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame in 2008, the East Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Ole Miss Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
A native of Calhoun City, Rogers becomes the third sports information director in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame following Bob Hartley of Mississippi State and Ace Cleveland of Southern Miss.
A native of Calhoun City, Rogers became the youngest president in history of CoSida in 1980 at the age of 36. In 2001, he received the Arch Ward Award, presented annually to a CoSIDA member who has made outstanding contributions to the field of college sports information. It is the highest award presented to a member of that national organization.
Orphaned as a toddler and raised by grandparents, Rogers learned the value of hard work at an early age. His first job was sweeping the floors in the newsroom of the Calhoun City Monitor-Herald at the age of 6. He had his first newspaper byline at age 9.
He played all sports in high school, going both ways as a halfback and defensive back for a Calhoun City team that won a conference championship. The legendary Hall of Fame coach Bull Sullivan then gave him a scholarship to East Mississippi Community College where he was a football manager, student sports information director, baseball player and Sullivan’s right-hand man.
From there, he moved to Delta State in similar capacities, manager for Horace McCool’s football team, a player on Boo Ferriss’s baseball team and eventually as a student assistant in sports information.
Upon graduation he became Delta State’s full-time sports information director. He was in that capacity when Hall of Famer Margaret Wade’s Delta State Lady Statesmen won three straight national championships, playing before full houses all over the country.
Rogers made national media contacts then that would serve him well years later when he moved to Ole Miss and helped promote several Rebels to All-America honors.
Said Boo Ferriss, whom Rogers considers a father figure, “They don’t come any better or work any harder than Langston Rogers.”
In July of 2008, Rogers received the Trailblazer Award from CoSIDA, presented annually to an individual who is a pioneer in the field of sports information and who has mentored and helped improve the level of ethnic and gender diversity within CoSIDA. In 2010, he was also honored by CoSIDA with its Lifetime Achievement Award and with the naming of the Langston Rogers Postgraduate Scholarship, a $5,000 annual scholarship presented to a minority or female athletics public relations professional.
At Ole Miss, Rogers worked through a revolving door of five chancellors, five athletic directors (including interims) and seven head football coaches. At Ole Miss, he was the one constant, and, what’s more he was the recognized as the best in the nation at what he did.
Said close Rogers friend Archie Manning, “I’m not sure you ever appreciate your sports information director enough – he may be one of the least-appreciated people at a university. Langston’s job has been more than just handling what’s coming up. He has great vision. He’s always hustling.”
Rogers quickly will tell anyone he has benefited from his association with some of the greatest names in Mississippi sports: among them Hall of Famers Sullivan, Ferriss, Wade, Manning, Johnny Vaught, Jake Gibbs and Warner Alford, who hired him at Ole Miss.
Friday night he joins them, deservedly so.