DETROIT — Darryl Rogers, who coached Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten title in 1978 and later took the helm for the Detroit Lions, has died. He was 83.
The Lions said Rogers’ family confirmed his death Wednesday.
Rogers coached Michigan State from 1976 to 1979, going 24-18-2. The 1978 team, which included star flanker Kirk Gibson, won its final seven games to finish tied for first in the conference.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Darryl Rogers and his family at this most difficult time,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “Coach Rogers won the 1978 Big Ten championship at Michigan State and was, in many ways, an offensive pioneer in college football. I was honored to have had the opportunity to talk to him a number of times throughout my time here and he was always very supportive. He loved Michigan State and will forever be a Spartan.”
Rogers also coached at Arizona State from 1980 to ’84 before heading to the NFL. He was with the Lions from 1985 to ’88.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Darryl,” Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said. “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.”
Rogers played wide receiver and defensive back at Fresno State and became the coach there in 1966. He also coached San Jose State from 1973 to 1975 before taking over at Michigan State.
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