Delta Charter hires Zach Rogel as head football coach

Published 12:15 am Saturday, April 23, 2016

FERRIDAY — Former Trinity Episcopal athletic director and head football coach Zach Rogel has accepted the head football coach position at Delta Charter School.

Rogel said his final day at Trinity was Friday, and his first day as Delta Charter’s head coach is May 1.

“I’m completely excited to have the opportunity to do what I love doing,” Rogel said. “Delta Charter is in a great position to grow. It’s a young program, and I want to go in there and create a culture.”

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Rogel said Trinity did not ask him to leave, and the decision to move on from the school was his decision. The Trinity alumnus said he was not exploring other job opportunities before the decision to leave the school was made.

“There is a new head master coming in, and he has his new ideas and a different route he wanted to take with a new athletic director,” Rogel said. “Bottom line, I thought it was best for my career and my family to move on. There’s no bad breakup there or ill wishes. I’m extremely grateful for (former Head of School Les) Hegwood and all the support I got at Trinity.”

In light of a planned demotion from the school, Rogel said he “could not accept” his demotion as Trinity’s athletic director “career-wise” and decided it was time for him to move on.

He said the prospect of building a program from the ground up attracted him to the Delta Charter job.

Rogel said he spent last week watching film of the Storm from its 2015 campaign. May 2 will be the team’s first spring practice with Rogel as head coach.

Rogel said he gathered the team for an infomal meeting to introduce himself.

“We’re trying to get the numbers up and get the guys walking the hallways out there and create something the guys want to and look forward to being a part of,” Rogel said. “I was sharing my excitement with them, letting them know I’m all in.”

Rogel said he plans to meet with players on an individual basis starting April 25. He said he has encouraged the team to rally “kids walking the hallways” who are not already members of the Delta Charter team to consider playing this coming season.

Rogel said former head football coach Jarrett Hoffpauir plans to remain on as an assistant. Hoffpauir said he wanted to stay involved in the football program as much as possible.

Rogel, who was an assistant on Trinity’s baseball team and a former basketball head coach, said he hasn’t thought about of getting involved in other athletic programs at Delta Charter at this time. He plans on focusing on his new job, but he said if the school asks him to assist in another area, he would be willing.

“It’s exciting for me and these kids, who are writing the first few chapters of Delta Charter’s history,” Rogel said. “I’m a high-energy guy. I’m motivated and I think once kids see my passion and a general concern for what’s best for them I think you gain respect and trust from the kids … you do that, these kids will be willing to run through a brick wall for you.”

He said it is too early to talk about expectations for the program that went 3-7 last season. This is the first season Delta Charter will play with a senior class and is eligible for postseason play. Rogel said is goal is to be a coach that players want to play for and pick up school spirit surrounding the young program.

“No matter what the scores are or the record turns out to be, (the expectations are to) play a brand of football we can be proud of,” Rogel said.