LAURINBURG — For the second straight day, St. Andrews University announced the hiring of a new coach to lead an athletic team.
In a Thursday news release, Knights athletic director Glenn Batten publicized that Larry Rodgers, formerly of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, will replace Bill Cason as the head coach of the school’s track & field and cross country programs.
“Coach Rodgers is the dean of North Carolina running and I am pleased that he has joined our program,” Batten said in the release.
“That experience and his expertise in the discipline of competitive running will be of great benefit to our student-athletes.”
Rodgers, who began his coaching coaching career at UNCP in 1981, directed the Braves’ track & field teams for 30 years before retiring in 2011. During Rodgers’ tenure, UNCP athletes earned 32 All-American awards. There were 99 athletes named all-Carolinas Conference, 48 all-district and 25 all-region.
Five years after leaving UNCP, Rodgers joins St. Andrews looking to build on the school’s successes enjoyed during the previous regime.
“I’m happy and honored to take this job,” Rodgers said. “I am looking forward to working with the staff and runners of St. Andrews and to taking the program to the next level.”
Rodgers’ UNCP teams won first or second place in the Carolinas Conference and NAIA District 26 meets in seven seasons, including six straight league championships from 1982-87. The Braves finished in second place at district meets from 1982-85 before winning back-to-back district championships in 1986-87.
As both men’s and women’s cross country coach, Rodgers guided the Braves to seven district titles and earned invitations to 14 regional championships and three trips to the national championships. He coached one All-American, one all-region, 38 all-district and 38 all-conference performers.
The 1973 UNCP graduate earned his master’s degree from North Carolina Central in 1979. Rodgers was a 1972 All-American at UNCP and three-time all-district performer in track from 1968-73. He holds the school record in the 600-yard run (1:14.9) and a share of a sprint medley relay team record. He was a part of four NAIA District 29 championship teams under his mentor and UNCP Hall of Fame coach, Dr. Ed Crain.