Former Hahnville Tigers baseball coach now oversees district programs
Kade Rogers knows he has some big shoes to fill with the retirement of longtime St. Charles Parish Public Schools Athletic Director Willie Wise — but he’s nonetheless excited to have the opportunity to wear them.
Rogers, 37, is the new man in charge of the school district’s athletic programs, the Hahnville High School alumnus taking on that role in addition to his current duties as the parish’s coordinator of safety, security and emergency preparedness. His new title is Administrator of Safety, Security and Athletics, and it represents a return to his background as a baseball coach and multi-sport prep athlete.
“We’d always joke around where I’d tell Willie I was interested for sure … it’s a chance to scratch that itch in the athletic arena,” Rogers said. “Willie leaves huge shoes to fill because he was such an ambassador for athletics in St. Charles Parish and across the state. He’s set me up with a great opportunity to support our student athletes.”
Rogers played baseball collegiately at Nicholls State after playing football, baseball and soccer and being part of the swimming team at Hahnville. After graduating from Nicholls, he joined his alma mater Hahnville as an assistant baseball and football coach in 2004 before being named head baseball coach in 2006. He remained in that role until 2012, when he became the parish’s safety coordinator.
Leaving athletics was difficult for him, he said, but ultimately he felt it was what was best for his family and provided him better opportunity to spend time with his wife and see his children grow up.
“It was tough leaving the coaches’ world and leaving that camaraderie behind, as well as that direct involvement with the kids and hopefully making a positive impression on their lives,” Rogers said. “But this provided me with the opportunity to get my Masters in educational leadership, drive my kids to their activities and anything they were involved in.”
He was able to at least stay at arm’s length of it all through providing security for events and games. Now, he gets to jump right back into the world of athletics.
In St. Charles Parish, that world is one of great tradition.
“I’m walking into a goldmine,” Rogers quipped. “And not just with our high schools, but also our middle schools as well. They have a strong history of performing and winning at the highest level. So the task in front of me now is to continue to provide what we have already, but to continue to get better.”
Rogers said he’s blessed to work with a school board and administration that’s given its full support over the years.
“I played on Hahnville’s football field before it had turf, on the baseball field before the renovations and before the softball field was right behind it on campus,” Rogers said. “Obviously, the upgrade of all the facilities has been huge. (The school board and administration) gives us those tools that allow us to compete at the highest level.”
He said his transition period has been smooth, his primary focus centered around communicating with school athletic directors, coaches and principals to get a feel for the day to day aspects of the job. Rogers added that finding and maintaining avenues to success on the field is, of course, a priority, but that it can’t happen if the competitive drive in the classroom isn’t pursued with even greater fervor.
“We haven’t made tremendous changes,” Rogers said. “I think there is a time for that, but we have a great program as it is and it’ll take some time to get in and evaluate what we have to do and what we can provide for student athletes. I can’t come in and think I can say this or that is what we need to do without first completely evaluating what we have in place and getting that rapport where we’re all pulling together in the same direction.”