Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Ira "Rat" Rodgers

Ira "Rat" Rodgers

Details

  • Position: Fullback
  • School: West Virginia
  • High School: Bethany, WV (Bethany HS)
  • Years: 1915-1917, 1919
  • Inducted: 1957
  • Place of Birth: Bethany, WV
  • Date of Birth: May 26, 1895
  • Place of Death: Morgantown, WV
  • Date of Death: Feb 15, 1963
  • Height: 5-10
  • Weight: 203

Member Biography

For decades, Ira Rodgers was called the fastest player in West Virginia history and,indeed, he left many an opponent behind as he ran away with the scoring championship as a senior in 1919. Rodgers led the Mountaineers to eight victories in 10 games that season, scoring 147 points in a personal crusade which put West Virginia on the comeback trail following World War I. Mountaineer football had struggled through a 6- 3-1 season in 1917, when the blazing Rodgers was a sophomore. And, when the war brought a suspension of play in the fall of 1918, many wondered just how quickly West Virginia could regroup. Rodgers was quick to answer the question, leading the way in victories over Marietta (61-0), Westminster (55-0), Bethany (60-0) and Ohio Wesleyan (55- 0). Mighty Maryland and Princeton teams fell in the wake of Mountaineer landslides, also. The only blemishes on the course came in losses to Pittsburgh (26-0) and Centre College (14- 6). A magnificent runner, Rodgers also was among the nation's premier passers. During a 1917 game against West Virginia Wesleyan, he threw a 51-yard pass - in the air from thrower to receiver. It was an incredible feat in those days of the bulky, melon-like football. Ira later returned to West Virginia as the Blue and Gold's head coach, and posted an 11- 12-2 record for three seasons.