Rodgers coached at Kansas from 1967-1970, a span that saw him win 20 games and take Kansas to the 1969 Orange Bowl. Though the Hawks came up on the short end that day, it was truly a game to remember for KU faithful and coaches alike.
"We had the game won before they called us for 12 men on the field. We actually had 12 guys out there for four or five plays before they called it. If the officials would have seen it on the first play we would have won the game, because you see they got to move the ball from the three yard line to the one and half on that two point conversion try and wound up winning 15-14."
Rodgers was assisted that day and throughout his Kansas career by Don Fambrough, whom he remembers fondly.
"He's one of my favorite guys. Nobody could have helped me get more adjusted and acquainted to the Universitiy of Kansas than Don. I can't tell you what he meant to me personally at my first head coaching assignment."
Rodgers and Fambrough had the privelege of coaching several of KU's all-time greats including Bobby Douglass, John Zook and John Riggins. Rodgers says that working with talent like that helped him to prove just about all there is to be proved in football coaching.
"I've proved everything I can prove as a coach. I've proved I can win with bad players and lose with good ones."
Rodgers, Jack Mitchell, Gale Sayers, David Jaynes and several other Jayhawk greats will be speaking next Thursday night at "Coach Fam & Friends", a benefit for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. For more information on the evening of great Jayhawk Football conversations, contact Marilyn Hull at 785-830-1837.