Change in operations

Chris Rodgers, seen here prior to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Jan. 3, 2020, has been the direction Ohio Football operations since 2014. His final game with Ohio was in Boise.

The Ohio University football team will have at least one change on the coaching staff in 2020.

Chris Rodgers, Ohio’s Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations, is leaving the Bobcats. He notified the team in the days leading up to the bowl game that the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl would be his last as a member of the Bobcat staff.

Rodgers, originally from Arizona, said spending more time with his young family — wife Kelsey and daughter Reece — and getting close to his old family roots were the primary reasons for his decision to step away from Ohio.

Rodgers wasn’t sure what the immediate future would hold, but felt it was time to re-invest in his family after working the last seven years in the time-consuming position of operations director for Ohio.

More than anything, however, Rodgers was appreciative to work as a coach at his alma mater.

“Coach (Frank) Solich and the coaching staff have been amazing,” Rodgers said. “They have taught me so much and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that Coach Solich gave me both as a player and as his Director of Football Operations.”

Rodgers was recruited to Ohio as part of Solich’s first recruiting class at OU in 2005. Originally a tight end, Rodgers developed into starting offensive tackle while playing for the Bobcats from 2005-09, and was a part of two MAC East Division titles and a pair of bowl game bids.

Rodgers eventually returned Ohio in 2013 when he joined the program as an operations assistant. He was named the Director of Football Operations in 2014, and elevated to the title of Assistant Athletic Director of Football Operations in 2017.

Rodgers had many duties with Ohio, and was responsible for many of the day-to-day details that go into running a Division I program. Among other duties, Rodgers was responsible for monitoring the program’s budget, planned and organized team travel, collaborated with NFL and other professional scouts, organized the annual Ohio Football Alumni Golf Outing and directed OU’s high school and youth camps.

The hours were long and the details overwhelming, but Rodgers said there was never any regrets.

“Ohio University is where I have spent most of my adult life. I met my wife at Ohio University and we had our daughter while working here,” he said. “I am forever grateful for all this great institution has done for me, and given me.”

Ohio is not expected to take a great deal of time to refill the position. The winter semester begins on Monday, and with it off-season workouts, the continued development of the walk-on program, more recruiting and the onset of spring camp in about two months.

Email at jarkley@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @JasonAmessenger

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