Athlete Ira Errett ‘‘Rat’’ Rodgers (May 26, 1895-February 22, 1963) was among the greatest Mountaineer football players, lettering in 1915–17 and 1919. He was born in Bethany, and started his athletic career as a high school level prep student at Bethany College (1911–14) before moving to West Virginia University.
Rodgers was named to All-American teams in 1916, 1917, and 1919. He was the leading scorer in the nation in 1919, with 19 touchdowns and seven conversions for 147 points. Rodgers accounted for more touchdowns by running or passing (66) than any other player in WVU history. He ran for 42 touchdowns and passed for 24 others over his career. He was recognized as WVU’s greatest all-time athlete, starring in basketball and baseball as well as football.
Rodgers served the university for four decades as a professor and coach and is in WVU’s athletic Hall of Fame. He was admitted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1953.
This Article was written by John C. Veasey
Last Revised on October 29, 2010
Kessler, Kent. Hail West Virginians!. Weston: George L. Bland, 1959.