She has served as the women’s basketball team’s interim head coach since December.
Destinee Rogers is the eighth head coach of the Arkansas State University women’s basketball team and the first Black woman to hold the position. Officials formally introduced Rogers in her new role during a press conference at First National Bank Arena auditorium Monday. Rogers is “a firm believer that representation matters” and said she wants to inspire the next generation of coaches.
“As far as being the first African American woman, obviously I don’t take that lightly,” she said. “I want to hold myself to a standard that young African American women can look to me and be inspired and think to themselves that they can do this as well, as well as being a representation for my players.”
Rogers was named interim head coach for the women’s basketball team in December when former head coach Matt Daniel resigned. She became the first Black woman in the school’s history to win a game as head coach when the Red Wolves defeated Mississippi Valley State 81-47 during her first game Dec. 14. Rogers’ promotion comes after the conclusion of a national search that began in January.
“I love coach Rogers’ high character and leadership traits that were on display throughout the remainder of the season, and she always put our student athletes first by providing them the best opportunities to success both on and off the court,” vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics Tom Bowen said.
Rogers joined the A-State women’s basketball program in 2019 as an assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach in 2020. The Strong, Ark., native previously served as the girls’ head coach at El Dorado High School from 2016-19.
Her first full-time coaching job came at her alma mater, the University of Central Arkansas, where she was a three-year starter at point guard for the Sugar Bears. Rogers helped UCA win the Southland Conference Championship in 2012.
The A-State Wolves’ season ended this month with a 91-76 loss to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The Red Wolves finished the season 12-16 overall and 5-10 in the SBC, and Rogers is already planning on working hard next season, her first as the team’s head coach.
“I just feel really good about where we’re at and I know that my players as well as my staff, we’re willing to go to great lengths to get this program to where we think it should be or we know it should be and we won’t stop until we get there,” Rogers said.
More information about the A-State women’s basketball team is available at www.astateredwolves.com