On November 10th when Tulsa visits the University of Memphis for a Thursday night football matchup, the Tigers will be honouring former Tiger Glenn Rogers Sr. Rogers Sr will be a guest captain, out on the field during the coin toss, honoured at half time and will have his name and number on the field. He played with the University of Memphis for three seasons from 1969 through 1971, at the time called “Memphis State University” and was the first African American football player to play for the Tigers.
The defensive back was a student at the University and when he watched Memphis State University take on the Florida State Seminoles he took a good look at the team that was playing and thought to himself ‘I can play for them.’
He then went on to walk on for the Tigers becoming the first African American to suit up in blue, and 53 years later he will be recognized by the University for his mark on the school’s history. Nathaniel Brown, on the coaching staff at the University of Memphis and in charge of the alumni engagement told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “being a former player myself I take a lot of pride in this job. My outlook, and my vision (with his job) was how would I want to be treated currently because I’ve had some bad experiences myself and if I can have some kind of control over this then I don’t want anyone to feel how I felt.” He states, that a lot of the time for athletes, “when the team is done with you, the team is done with you and thats the one thing I want to make sure that the alumni doesn’t feel that way here.”
After hearing about Glenn Rogers Sr, Brown took responsibility to make him feel at home at the University of Memphis still. After reaching out to himself, and speaking with those at the University to make things happen, Rogers Sr is thrilled for the November 10th game between Tulsa and Memphis. In an interview held at the football facility, conducted by current Memphis Tigers defensive lineman Cormontae Hamilton, from Memphis, Tennessee, Rogers said, “what the University of Memphis is doing for me right now gives me a more inward fulfilment in my heart for the university itself as well as the city of Memphis.”
“The last couple of weeks have given me a good sense of pride in saying I’m a Memphis State graduate and former football player.” he explained, “I feel more comfortable today (being on campus) than I have ever felt in over 50 years… I get a lot of love here that I should have had years ago and I am happy to be honoured the way I’m being honoured today by the University.”