Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gator Bowl Notebook; Rogers and Orr Join Gator Hall

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gator Bowl Notebook; Rogers and Orr Join Gator Hall

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits and Jeff Elliott

There was a connection between the two inductees into the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame on Monday.

Vanderbilt quarterback Donald Orr and the rest of his team practiced for the 1955 Gator Bowl game against Auburn at Lee High School. Corky Rogers, who would go on to play and coach at Lee, would ride his bike to the Backyard to watch Orr and the rest of the Commodores.

"Being from Jacksonville, the Gator Bowl meant so much," Rogers said during the Coaches and Hall of Fame luncheon at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. "These guys were my heroes."

Orr led Vanderbilt to a 25-13 victory over Auburn in that Gator Bowl. He passed for 67 yards on 4-of-6 completions and ran for 43 more, throwing one TD pass and scoring another. He was the game MVP.

Rogers played for Georgia Tech in the 1965 Gator Bowl, where the Yellow Jackets won 31-21. Rogers caught one pass for 9 yards, mainly because Tech's starting quarterback was hurt early in the game and coach Bobby Dodd ran the ball 79 times in the game, with game MVP Lenny Snow gaining 136 yards.

"I thought I was going to catch 10 or 12 passes and it would be a great day because I'm coming back to Jacksonville," Rogers said.

Rogers' induction had more to do with his record as a coach at Lee and Bolles, where he has become the all-time victory leader among Florida coaches and the eighth high school coach in the nation to reach 800 victories. Rogers' Bolles teams have won a record 11 state championships.

Rogers observed that he has had good backing from the administrations at Lee and Bolles, excellent assistant coaches and the support of his family.

"Corky Rogers gets success he doesn't deserve," he said. "I'm part of a team, and everything we've ever accomplished was as a team."


The vice president of said he anticipated renewing the title sponsorship deal with the Gator Bowl next year, for four years and possibly longer.

"We couldn't be happier with the success," said Brian Rhodes.

Rhodes said negotiations will include discussions of a higher team payout, which would help the Gator Bowl move up in the SEC and Big Ten pecking order and get teams that have had better seasons. …

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