April 3, 2012
By Joey Jones
Associate Director, Athletics Media Relations
OXFORD, Miss. - After three decades of directing the publicity efforts for Ole Miss Athletics, Langston Rogers is retiring from his post as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations, effective at the end of April.
An icon of the media relations world, Rogers has won nearly every award possible as a member and past president of the 2,300-member College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
"Langston has been guiding a critical component of Ole Miss Athletics for 30 years," Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone said. "His awards at the regional and national levels only tell a fraction of the story of his successful portrayal of Ole Miss Athletics across our country. All of his contributions are greatly admired and appreciated by the Rebel family."
"When you're an athletics director, there are a lot of times when people second-guess you on the hires you make, but I can say this: Nobody ever second-guessed me on hiring Langston Rogers," said Warner Alford, the Ole Miss athletics director from 1978-94. "He was a No. 1 draft choice. I have never known a guy that worked as hard in his particular area as Langston did and never complained. He's such a professional person and known all over the country. I consider him a great friend and have always admired him. There will never be another Langston."
In 1990, Rogers became the 100th inductee into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame and in 2001 received the Arch Ward Award, presented annually to a CoSIDA member who has made outstanding contributions to the field of college sports information and is the highest award presented to a member of the national organization. In 2008, he 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. He was president of the organization in 1980-81 and served on the Board of Directors for 11 years.
Rogers was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame in 2008. He also received the Distinguished Statesman Award from Delta State University in 1998 and the Elmore (Scoop) Hudgins Sports Information Directors Award from the All-American Football Foundation in 1999.
"I have so many great memories from my career, beginning in 1961 as the student sports information director for Coach Sullivan at East Mississippi Community College and then in the same capacity for Coach Ferriss and Coach McCool at Delta State before being named the school's first full time SID in 1966," Rogers said. "Those experiences opened the door for me to come to Ole Miss in 1981, and I am grateful to Warner Alford for giving me the opportunity to grow in my chosen profession.
"This profession has a way of consuming what seems to be your every waking moment, but I have been truly blessed to have a family who understood that time commitment and provided the support much more than I deserved. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with Pete Boone and such outstanding student-athletes, coaches and administrators. It has been a joy to see those student-athletes come in as kids and leave as adults."
Rogers joined the Rebel athletics staff on July 1, 1981, as sports information director. On July 1, 1984, he was named the assistant athletics director for sports information, and has since been promoted to senior associate athletics director for media relations.
In addition to his daily duties of overseeing the publicity of Ole Miss' 18 varsity sports, Rogers has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of the athletics department's memorabilia room, as well as archives that include game programs, statistics, news releases, publications and other items dating back to the foundation of the Ole Miss athletics programs. He has also been responsible for many successful national awards campaigns for Ole Miss football players and other student-athletes.
Rogers currently serves as a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame District 3 screening committee, is a member of the Media Coordination Committee for the NCAA Women's Final Four Basketball Championship and is an honorary member of the University of Mississippi M-Club Alumni Chapter. He is also a past president of the Southeastern Conference sports information directors (1989-90, 1990-91) and was one of the U.S. Olympic Committee's press liaison officers at the 1982 National Sports Festival.
Prior to joining Ole Miss, Rogers served 17 years as the sports information director at Delta State University, making numerous appearances on the national level with the school's championship women's basketball program.
Rogers earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Delta State University, where he was a member of the baseball team, playing for Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Dave "Boo" Ferriss. He also earned his Associate of Arts degree from East Mississippi Junior College, where he was student body president, editor of the campus newspaper and played baseball for legendary coach Bob "Bull" "Cyclone" Sullivan.
He is married to the former Paula Lowery of Cleveland, Miss. They have two children, Laura and Bill, and four grandchildren - Austin, Anna, Abby and Avery. Laura received her doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi, and Bill's undergraduate degree is from Ole Miss.