Alvis Rogers set to lead Gateway boys basketball

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Saturday, May 5, 2018 | 1:15 AM


Alvis Rogers was quick to put his name in the hat to become the new varsity boys basketball head coach at Gateway.

He wanted to continue building the Gators program after spending four seasons as an assistant with former coach Daryn Freedman, who stepped down in early March to pursue a return to college coaching.

Gateway's athletic administration, led by athletic director Randy Rovesti, felt Rogers was the right person and recommended him for the post, leaving the school board to approve his hiring at a meeting April 26.

When the vote came down, Rogers said it was a special feeling and was humbled to have earned and maintained the district's trust in his abilities.

“Being there for four years, I know the school, the players and the administration,” Rogers said.

“The players know me and know what I am all about. Talking with the few of the players and parents, the excitement is there. We want to get out there, get our feet wet and see what we have to build on.”

He said right from the start he was ready to implement an offseason program, finalize his coaching staff and do a number of the other things necessary over the next couple of months as he prepares for his first season as head coach of the Gators.

“The feeling is not any different for me,” Rogers said. “I coached the JVs, and Daryn gave me the flexibility to do things as an assistant. There now will be more responsibility, but I am ready for that. I am pretty excited.”

Rogers isn't the only Freedman assistant to earn a head coaching position at the high school level.

Two weeks ago, Nick Dizon was hired as the head coach of the girls program at Kiski Area.

“I am really excited for Nick,” Rogers said.

“I know he will do a great job at Kiski.”

Rogers said former Gators player Luke Kochka will remain with the program and coach the freshmen team.

Also joining the staff is Verne Benson Jr. a former head coach at East Allegheny and Valley who has additional coaching experience at Gateway with the late Mitch Adams.

Rogers said plans are in the works to bring on an additional coach, but nothing had been finalized.

“I just want to put together a good staff that will fit with me and fit well with the players,” Rogers said. “I think that definitely is coming together.”

Freedman helped the Gators compile a 51-41 overall record over four years and earn a WPIAL playoff trip each season.

Rogers' coaching resume before coming to Gateway includes several seasons as an assistant women's coach at the Division I level. He has served on staffs at Duquesne, Pitt and Youngstown State.

He also worked with the YSU men's program as the director of basketball operations.

Rogers also coached one season (2004) as the boys head coach at Seton La Salle.

His collegiate coaching career began as an assistant at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., for the 1993-94 season.

A native of Washington, N.C., Rogers played in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Wake Forest in the late 1970s to early 1980s.

He averaged double figures in points (12.6) and added 5.8 rebounds during his time with the Demon Deacons.

Rogers was sixth-round draft pick of the Kansas City (now Sacramento) Kings in 1983. He also played professionally in Australia, Sweden, Greece and Belgium.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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