Bigger than life.
Iconic Southern baseball coach Roger Cador retires, to stay with … – The Advocate
After 33 years as coach of the Southern baseball program, Roger Cador will announce his retirement from coaching in a press conference on Friday morning.
Cador told the Advocate he has decided to step away from coaching but will stay on at the University for at least one more year in a non-coaching capacity.
The role in which Cador will play in the athletic department has not been officially announced.
Southern will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. on Friday.
His decision to retire from coaching ended one of the most influential careers in not only college baseball but the sport as a whole.
“(Banks) told me some of the things going on behind the scenes and told me it would be in my best interest if we could come to an agreement that I’d come and work for him for another year and I’d leave baseball,” Cador said. “I knew I needed to do it. He made it easier by the way he put it by needing me to help him.”
The announcement does not come as a surprise: Southern hit rough times over the past decade, including NCAA sanctions regarding low Academic Progress Rates. Cador said on several occasions over the past few years that he was aware his career was coming to a close, but he never officially announced any retirement plans until Wednesday.
Nestled away beneath the trees of the Southern University campus, tucked away behind the lef…
He frequently said he would like to see the program out from under the NCAA’s thumb before moving on, saying he would have liked to retire as many as three years ago if it weren’t for the sanctions. Southern recently announced the baseball program would continue to be under sanctions next season after failing to meet the required APR score.
About three weeks ago, following the Jaguars’ final regular-season game, Cador said he was considering coaching one more season before stepping down. But almost immediately he walked his statement back, saying he misspoke and had not discussed his future with Banks. Banks and Cador had their end-of-season meeting Wednesday before finalizing his staying on in a different capacity on Thursday.
Banks said Cador will stay on with the University in order to help continue fundraising and act as a valuable asset to the program.
“We all know that’s he’s been around Southern baseball for a long period of time, but it’s good to know that he recognized it and say that it’s time for him to pass the baton on and find the next person who will be the head coach for this era of baseball,” Banks said. “We both agreed this was a very good time for that transition.
“I know he’s still concerned about the athletic department, and in my transition with all the people that he knows, that we can continue to have him in a role as a special assistant to the athletic director and stay on a little longer and do some things I think he can help bring to the table.
Banks said no replacement has been named at this time and the Southern will conduct a search for a new baseball coach. No strict timeline is set for the search for now.
Until a new coach can be hired, assistant coach Elliott Jones will handle day-to-day operations for the program.
In his final season, Southern reached the SWAC tournament, but Cador could not make the trip to New Orleans because he had pneumonia. Cador said his health was not the primary reason for his decision, but it did play a role.
“Like everybody else, (Banks) said I had done all that I could with baseball at this point and that it was going to take much longer than one more year (to get out of sanctions), which is all I had left (in me),” Cador said.
Cador took over the program in the summer of 1984 after serving as an assistant coach for his alma mater. He also spent four years as an assistant basketball coach.
From there, Cador built Southern into one of the most well-respected HBCU programs in the country, and he was a valued member of the baseball community.
He leaves The Bluff as one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history, with a record of 913-597-1 (.604). He led the Jaguars to 14 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and 11 NCAA regional appearances.
In one of the most significant moments of his career, Cador led the Jaguars’ upset of Cal State Fullerton in a 1987 regional to become the first HBCU to win a postseason game in the NCAA tournament.
Southern again received national acclaim in 2003 when Rickie Weeks became the first (and so far only) player from an HBCU to win the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best amateur player in America.
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