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Ira Errett "Rat" Rodgers (May 26, 1895 – February 15, 1963) was an American football, basketball, baseball, and golf player and coach. He played college football for West Virginia University where he was selected as an All-American in 1919. He also served as the school's head football coach from 1925 to 1930 and again from 1943 to 1945.

Ira Rodgers
Ira Rodgers.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1895-05-26)May 26, 1895
Bethany, West Virginia
DiedFebruary 15, 1963(1963-02-15) (aged 67)
Morgantown, West Virginia
Playing career
1915–1917West Virginia
1919West Virginia
1915–1919West Virginia
1916–1919West Virginia
Position(s)Fullback, quarterback (football)
Shortstop (baseball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1920–1924West Virginia (assistant)
1925–1930West Virginia
1943–1945West Virginia
1921–1946West Virginia
Head coaching record
Overall44–31–8 (football)
204–208–3 (baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
All-American, 1919
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1957 (profile)

Collegiate careerEdit

"Rajah" Rodgers of West Virginia

Rodgers was a high school standout football player, who was recruited by powerhouse schools such as the University of Pittsburgh and Washington & Jefferson College. In 1915, however, Mountaineer coach Mont McIntyre won the honors of Rodgers, who started his first game of the season as a quarterback. He played quarterback most of his freshman season, until later in the season when he was moved to fullback. He played fullback for the next three years of his career. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity on campus.

As a senior, in 1919, Rodgers had one of the greatest seasons of any player from West Virginia University. Rodgers led the nation in scoring with 147 points on 19 touchdowns and 33 extra-point kicks. He also threw 11 touchdown passes, which was a rare feat for that era and a WVU record until 1949. Rodgers earned consensus All-American honors that season, the first All-American in WVU history.

Rodgers is considered one of the greatest players of his era, and one of the greatest athletes in Mountaineer history. Rodgers was the first Mountaineer to rush for more than 200 yards in a game. He also holds the school record for the most rushing touchdowns season (19). His record of most touchdowns in a career (42), was broken by running back Steve Slaton who rushed for his 50th touchdown in 2007. Rodgers also threw 24 touchdown passes in his career as well.

Rodgers has been a long-time member of the West Virginia University Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1953.

Baseball careerEdit

Rodgers' baseball skills led to a professional offer from Connie Mack, the long-time manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, but he chose instead to remain at West Virginia to teach and coach. He was the Mountaineer baseball coach for 23 years. During summer months, Rodgers did play and manage some professional baseball including a stint as the player-manager of the Kinston Highwaymen of the "outlaw" Eastern Carolina Baseball Association in 1922.

Coaching careerEdit

After his honorable playing career, Rodgers moved on to coach the Mountaineers in football, baseball and golf. He compiled a 41–31–8 mark as a football coach and a 204–208–3 mark as a baseball coach.

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
West Virginia Mountaineers (West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1925–1927)
1925 West Virginia 8–1
1926 West Virginia 6–4
1927 West Virginia 2–4–3
West Virginia Mountaineers (Independent) (1928–1930)
1928 West Virginia 8–2
1929 West Virginia 4–3–3
1930 West Virginia 5–5
West Virginia Mountaineers (Independent) (1943–1945)
1943 West Virginia 4–3
1944 West Virginia 5–3–1
1945 West Virginia 2–6–1
West Virginia: 41–31–8
Total: 41–31–8


External linksEdit