JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When you have been coaching for almost a half a century and have accolades such as "most wins in Florida history," and "most state titles in Florida history," what does another plaque on the wall really mean?
For Corky Rogers, it means a lot.
"It's humbling," Rogers said on the field after the ceremony to honor him. "It's not something that I feel comfortable with because it is a group and a team that accomplished this, not me by myself. I understand all that and I think it's a group thing and we all appreciate it."
Following Bolles' 11-8 win over Mandarin in their annual spring game, hundreds of former players from both Bolles and Lee, where Rogers coached from 1972 to 1988, filled the field to honor their former coach. A proclamation from the city of Jacksonville presented by city councilman Tommy Hazouri as well as a plaque from Bolles head of school David Farace were given to Rogers who continued to be humbled by the sight of so many former players of his.
"I don't know, there must have been nothing else to do tonight," Rogers joked. "I am very proud of them and what they have done. I am proud for the schools, they do such a good job. And I was glad the team did good too."
Rogers remarked that he has gotten plenty of well-wishers from people who were not able to attend the ceremony tonight. Current Akron receivers coach Jeff Bowden, son of Florida State legend Bobby Bowden, was recruiting Bulldogs players on campus yesterday and mentioned that his dad would like to congratulate him. During that phone call, Rogers mentioned to Bowden that in his short time away from the team, he already was missing his players.
"Coach Bowden said to me, to be successful you have to have good players, you gotta coach them hard, and you have to love them. I think we attempted to do that and it shows. For that I am very proud."