EAST LIVERPOOL - Scott Rogers was hired as the East Liverpool High School varsity girls basketball coach by a unanimous vote Tuesday night during the board of education's regularly-scheduled meeting.
Rogers brings 25 years of coaching experience to the job and a strong desire to keep the program moving upward. This will be Rogers' first experience with coaching a girls team and his first time as a head coach.
"My daughter Selena, who is in fifth grade, was involved in Allan Dingey's fourth, fifth and sixth grade program this past winter," said the new Potter coach. "I was at their practices and I wanted to be involved. When Allan, who was doing a very good job, didn't come back as head coach, I decided to apply."
Dingey coached the East Liverpool girls team for the past two seasons, notching records of 9-12 in 2012-13 and 10-11 this past season for a two-year total of 19-23.
To Potter basketball fans, it seems that Rogers has always been in the boys program from the time he was a youngster.
"My first recollection of East Liverpool basketball was when Jim Irons was the coach back in the early '80s," Rogers said. "I remember guys like Mark Douglas, Nelson Taylor, Gerald Christian and John Douglas playing. They were exciting to watch."
A 1988 East Liverpool High School graduate, Rogers had the opportunity to play for both Bob Dawson and Nick Aloi during his high school career, learning a great deal from each.
"I am so grateful to Nick Aloi," said the Potter coach. "He gave me my first coaching job. I was the seventh grade coach for Dan Swoger and the rest of those guys who went to state as seniors in 1989."
Rogers coached at various levels of the Potter program under Aloi for a total of 16 years.
In addition to coaching at East Liverpool, Rogers also coached at briefly at Dover, Beaver Local and Lisbon. For the past four years, he has been on the staff of Potter boys coach Nate Conley.
"I learned a great deal from Nate," said Rogers. "It is so important to be involved in not just the high school program, but also the junior high and elementary programs. For a program to be successful for a period of time, there has to be a solid feeder program. The players and coaches down there need to know that you care about what they are doing."
Rogers is already in the process of finalizing plans for a basketball camp for elementary and junior high girls which will be held in July at Potter Fieldhouse. Assistant coaches Hali DeSarro and Gary Burton, who were on Dingey's staff, have indicated to Rogers that they will return. They both were approved by the board on Tuesday.
"On the high school level, I believe we have a very good nucleus coming back," Rogers said. "There are six seniors, plus a number of talented younger players. We'll be doing some open gyms during June and then going to the Steubenville shootout on June 14th and 15th."
It is no wonder that Rogers was drawn to basketball at an early age as his father Don was a very successful coach for many years at the freshmen and reserve levels before eventually becoming the athletic director at East Liverpool. The elder Rogers served as East Liverpool's athletic director for over 20 years.
"When I met with the girls on Friday, I told them that they should be proud to be a Potter," said the Potter coach. "I was always proud to wear that Potter jersey and then in later years, coaching shirts with "Potters" on them. I want them to feel the same way. I told them that basketball is a long season and that there will be peaks and valleys. For us to be successful, we have to work through the tough times. I want to them to have fun, but I also want them to learn how to be better basketball players and better people."
Rogers' contract will pay him $5,175.46. He and his wife Sara have one daughter, Selena. Rogers is employed by National Network of Digital Schools in Midland.
In other Potter sports news, the board hired Tim Diddle as the new girls soccer coach. He will be paid $2,796.61.