Darryl Rogers, whose long coaching career included four seasons as head coach of the Lions, has died at the age of 83.
Rogers had spent many seasons as a college head coach but had never been in the NFL in any capacity when the Lions decided to take a chance on him in 1985. Although he was a likable character, he was not popular in Detroit, as he led the Lions to losing records in all four of his seasons before getting fired after a 2-9 start in 1988. Rogers himself once acknowledged that he was on very thin ice by asking reporters, “What does a coach have to do around here to get fired?” Rogers went 18-40 as head coach of the Lions.
When Rogers was head coach at Michigan State in 1978, he famously referred to the Michigan football team as a bunch of “arrogant asses.” Rogers was also head coach at Cal State Hayward, Fresno State, San Jose State and Arizona State. He had an overall record of 129-84-7 at the college level.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Darryl,” Lions owner Martha Ford said in a statement. “On behalf of me, my family and the entire Detroit Lions organization, I would like to extend our sincere sympathy to his wife, Marsha, and the Rogers family.”