Marietta’s baseball program has its man going forward.
Marietta City Schools said in a release Tuesday that coach Phillip Rogers had the interim label taken off and would be the Blue Devils’ permanent coach.
Rogers, who had previously served seven years as a Marietta assistant, was able to begin turning the program around. The Blue Devils finished with an 11-20 overall record and went 3-12 in Region 3AAAAAAA. It was a marked improvement from 2017, when they went 8-26 and 0-15 in the region.
Rogers is excited to continue the turnaround for his program.
“I’m honored and very proud to be the head coach,” he said. “There was definitely improvement this year. Our record was not where we were obviously hoping it would be, but I think, mentally, physically, we are headed in the right direction.”
After Rogers’ season as interim coach, the team looks to be set down a new path, one that he hopes includes state playoff appearances and wins for seasons to come.
“We wanted to kind of create a story last year of going from no region wins to making the playoffs,” Rogers said, “but we fell a few games short of making the playoffs. We were in the hunt, and it was still a possibility up until that last week.”
In the final month of the season, Marietta went 3-5, with three losses decided by just one run.
Rogers said he planned to utilize the offseason to focus on the aspects of the Blue Devils’ game that can help them to come out on top in close, late-season contests.
“The next year’s focus is going to be to really refine all of those skills and to work on the little things that maybe cost us those one-run games, Rogers said. “We’re going to focus on those little things, too, so we can ensure those turn in our favor next year.”
A football and baseball platyer at Loganville High School, Rogers played two years of baseball at Georgia College and State University before a shoulder injury cut his baseball career short.
After a stint at Georgia, which saw Rogers walk on to the football team as a punter and graduate with a history degree, he found himself back at his alma mater, leading the Loganville baseball program. Rogers coached the team for three seasons, winning a Class AAAA state championship in 2008 before returning to the playoffs the following two seasons.
Rogers’ past success was a major factor in Marietta athletic director Paul Hall’s decision to strip the interim tag and give Rogers full control of the team.
“It was just the buy-in that he got from his players,” Hall said. “We want to compete for region championships and make the playoffs. I know that’s his goal because he came from a state championship program himself. When you’re around success, you see what it takes to get that point. That’s where we want to go.”