Jimmy Rogers, a former standout defensive player for South Dakota State, returned to his alma mater in June 2013 to coach the Jackrabbit linebackers.
“It is a treat to hire back a guy who played, led and made a difference in our program,” head coach John Stiegelmeier said in announcing the hire. “Jimmy Rogers is a coach who will get everything out of each and every one of our linebackers.”
In 2013, Rogers directed a linebacking corps whose three regular starters — R.C. Kilgore, T.J. Lally and Charles Elmore — combined for 290 tackles. Kilgore led the team with 134 tackles and also led the nation with five fumble recoveries en route to first-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference recognition.
Rogers again coached a 100-tackle performer in 2014 as T.J. Lally led the squad with 117 tackles en route to second-team all-MVFC recognition. Lally, along with 2014 starters Jesse Bobbit (90 tackles) and Dallas Brown (49 tackles), as well as key reserve J.T. Hassell (41 tackles), all return to the Jackrabbit lineup in 2015.
A native of Hamilton, Arizona, Rogers previously served as a graduate assistant at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. He spent the fall of 2012 as an offensive graduate assistant, working with the offensive line. In the spring of 2013 he transitioned to the defensive side of the ball as he worked with the team’s linebackers.
Immediately after his collegiate playing career ended, Rogers spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at South Dakota State, working with the Jackrabbit defensive backs in 2010 and linebackers in 2011. He also assisted with the special teams units both seasons.
As a player, Rogers lettered for the Jackrabbits from 2006-09 and was a two-time all-conference selection. He led both the team and the Great West Football Conference with 110 tackles in 2007 as South Dakota State claimed the league title and Rogers was a first-team all-GWFC selection. He again led the squad in tackles in 2008 with 93 en route to earning second-team all-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors.
He was a captain on the Jackrabbits’ first FCS playoff team in 2009, recording 66 tackles his senior season to finish his four-year career with 312 stops in 46 games. He also intercepted three passes and forced three fumbles in a Jackrabbit uniform.