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Tilghman picks former Warren Central coach

By Daniel Paulling dpaulling@paducahsun.com

Paducah Tilghman has hired Mike Rogers as head football coach.

He joins the Blue Tornado after going 46-17 over five seasons at Warren Central in Bowling Green. The Dragons made the Class 5A round of 16 before losing in double overtime to Graves County last fall. Rogers also went 34-22 over five years as the Eagles' head coach from 2004-08.

While he described leaving Warren Central as emotional, he said he couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"I think Tilghman's a destination job," said Rogers, 39. "It's a dream job for a lot of people, not just me. The expectation there is nothing but excellence. Tilghman expects to win state championships. Hopefully, this could be my final stop. There'd be no better way to finish my career. That's what I want to do there."

Tilghman principal Art Davis said he received 35 applications and interviewed six candidates during this week, finishing Thursday night at 9. He offered the position Friday morning to Rogers, who accepted after consulting with his wife, Rebecca.

Davis said the applicant pool included someone who had coached in the NFL and one who had coached with former Murray State coach Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. 

Rogers succeeds Randy Wyatt, who coached the Blue Tornado for six years and won a Class 3A state championship in 2009. Wyatt resigned Dec. 10, saying he wanted to focus on the Blue Tornado track program and his family.

Davis said Rogers, a Murray State graduate, will be an excellent replacement.

"Bottom line is, he's a winner and he knows football," Davis said. "He's what I'd call a student of the game. I think that he'll be able to take the kind of players that we have and the athletes that we have and set up an offense and defense that will be really successful here and possibly take us to the state title."

Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.

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