Colquitt County hired Justin Rogers of Jones County to replace Rush Propst as football coach on Monday at a school board meeting.
‘’We’re super-excited,’’ Rogers told AJC.com shortly after the meeting. “It’s a program with such tradition that dates back. Just being a part of that, we’re honored and humbled to have this opportunity.’’
Rogers’ five-year record at Jones County in middle Georgia was 45-15. Jones County had not won a playoff game since 2001 until Rogers’ first season in 2014, when the Greyhounds went 10-3 and advanced to the Class AAAAA quarterfinals while scoring a school-record 481 points, twice the output of the previous season, which ended 5-5.
Expect Rogers to bring an offense to Moultrie that’s even more wide open than the ones employed to win two state titles and reach four state championship games over the past five seasons under Propst.
Rogers, an Alabama native, had been the offensive coordinator at Griffin, which won the Class AAAA championship in 2013 while finishing 15-0 and averaging 42.4 points per game. Then at Jones County, his teams produced the top five scoring seasons in school history. They averaged 34.8 points per game overall.
Rogers called his style of offense ‘’a multiple formation spread using various personnel groups.’’ That’s similar to what Colquitt used under Propst, but perhaps faster.
‘’We play with pace,’’ said Rogers, who called the plays at Jones County and will again at Colquitt. “It’s a two-minute offense the entire game. It’s designed to keep defenses on their heels.’’
Propst was fired last month despite a 119-35 record over 11 seasons. Colquitt County reached the semifinals or better in nine times and won state titles in 2014 and 2015 under Propst, who remains on paid leave pending an investigation by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
Rogers, an Alabama native, acknowledged that coming to Colquitt would be different than his previous three jobs on high school sidelines – Harris County (2002-09), Griffin (2010-13) and Jones County, each a stop that needed a boost. Colquitt is Georgia’s most successful program in the highest classification over the past decade and the state’s most widely known nationally in that time.
‘’It’s a different mindset,’’ Rogers said. “There’s structure in the place, a routine that’s been successful and so much they do so well. You don’t go in and change everything, but by the same token, you have to be true to yourself. I’ve got to be me. There are certainly things that I believe in. I’m somebody that’s passionate and believes in doing things with a lot of energy. There’s things that I want to change and influence, but I don’t want to change winning. I want to keep it going.’’
Rogers said playing in the highest classification was another attraction of the Colquitt job.
“Without question,’’ he said. “Just all of it – the tradition, the highest class, the Friday night atmosphere, being in Region 1. It has a respect in the Southeast as one of the toughest conferences there is. As a competitor, that has to motivate you.’’
Rogers will get to work almost immediately. He planned to meet with his Jones County team on Tuesday morning and have staff meetings at Colquitt beginning at 1 p.m.
“If it had been anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have left,’’ he said of Jones County. “I love it here in Jones. We’ve done great things. The community has been unbelievably supportive. But I’m a head football coach. It’s my passion, and Colquitt County has a great program. I tell my kids always to chase their dreams, be bold and do things right, and I’m going to live that out.’’
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