When Darren Sasse stepped down as the head football coach at Smith Center High School in late January, many were wondering who the next person in line would be to take the job. The tradition rich program had been guided by just two men since 1977 when Roger Barta came to town. After Barta’s retirement, Sasse took over in 2013.
In 2023, the logical place to look for the new head coach was, again, right in Smith Center. On Monday night at the USD 237 board meeting, longtime assistant Mike Rogers was approved as the next head coach of the Redmen.
Rogers had a storied career on the field for Smith Center, helping Smith Center to their first state title in 1982. He was an all-state back and ran for over 2,000 yards in his career. He graduated in 1984 and went on to play football at the University of Kansas.
In 1992, Rogers returned to his hometown and was the head junior high coach from then until 2000 when he joined Barta’s high school staff as an assistant. He has worked under Barta and Sasse since then. As a player and coach with the Redmen, Rogers has been a part of eight state championship teams.
At KD Country 94 and Z 96.3 Sports, we were able to catch up with Rogers and he knows the honor that comes with having the title of head coach for Smith Center Redmen football.
Rogers also noted that there likely will not be much change in how the program operates.
For a full interview with Coach Rogers, listen to the Sports Ticket on Wednesday morning on KD Country 94 and kdcountry94.com.