Athletic director Rogers to retire at end of school year

Athletic Director Tom Rogers will retire at the end of the school year after 8 years at the position.

Photo courtesy of Walter Johnson Athletics

Athletic Director Tom Rogers will retire at the end of the school year after 8 years at the position.

At the end of this year, Athletic Director Tom Rogers will retire after eight years of holding the post. Rogers joined the WJ community as a track coach in 1994 and became a teacher in 1998. After working for many years, he decided that this year would be his last so that he could be with his family more often.
“I’ve been working for 45 years and I’ve reached the point where I’m old enough to get my full social security and I want to be able to spend more time with my wife and five grandkids. I love this job but it’s pretty demanding and takes up a lot of time,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ favorite part of the job was always getting to know student-athletes and trying to help them to be able to compete to the best of their abilities so that the athlete’s performance as well as the team’s performance would be greatly elevated.
“Even as an AD, I thought I would miss coaching a lot and I did, but I really enjoyed getting to know all the other teams,” Rogers said.
Rogers and head cross country/track coach Thomas Martin have been best friends since they were teenagers playing football and running track together. Years later, when Rogers began coaching at WJ, he recruited Martin to become part of the Wildcats’ community.
“When I first started coaching here, I got a hold of [Martin] and I [told him to come] to WJ. He came over and started out as a volunteer and then decided to make a career change,” Rogers said.
Martin, who teaches Technology, will be retiring from teaching this year, but said that he will continue to coach the track and cross country teams. He said that it would be strange working in the building without Rogers being there.
“He represents everything that is important about being a teacher and being a coach. He has always done everything to the best of his ability. He brings enthusiasm to everything he does. He made me care about being a coach and care about teaching,” Martin said.
Throughout his many years at WJ, Rogers has been able to build relationships with coaches from WJ as well as other schools in the state.
“[When I was] brand new into the county, I [was] a young head coach… we were at different schools at the state meet for track and I [was] watching one of my athletes long jump… I didn’t know Mr. Rogers yet, I just knew of him and I was scared to death of him. I don’t know why and as I was [watching], he kept getting closer and closer. I kept trying to get a little further away [from him], but I had to watch my athlete. That was the moment that we had our first conversation and I [realized] he’s fantastic! I didn’t know what I had been thinking before,” assistant athletic director Elizabeth Muehl said.
Muehl coached against Rogers and Martin at Northwest High School before coming to WJ where she coached with them. Rogers’ enthusiasm for working with student-athletes is something that many coaches and students really admire.
“He just brings great energy. He’s had great relationships with people from what I heard and from my personal experiences, he seems like a great guy who really cares about each individual person and making sure everybody gets what they need to help him succeed in their sport,” sophomore Riley Berkowitz said.
Rogers loved working with the Wildcats and as he nears the end of his career, he reminisced on some of the parts that made it so great.
“WJ is such a great place to be involved whether you are a teacher or a coach. In my case I did both for a lot of years. Our admin is fantastic, so it’s easy to work here and work with the other people here. It’s been awesome. I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” Rogers said.

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