Rogers High School football coach Matt Miethe met with players Friday morning for the last time as their coach.
Whitworth University announced later that day that the school’s new football coach, Rod Sandberg, hired Miethe to coach Whitworth’s offensive line. Miethe will remain at Rogers as a physical education teacher and assistant wrestling coach, but he will give up his duties as football coach and a JV softball coach.
Miethe, 37, was featured in a Spokesman-Review series last fall that followed the Rogers football season. He built a team centered on love in hopes of preparing his players for life beyond high school.
“I never, ever thought I would be saying those words,” Miethe said about his meeting with his players. “But I did tell them, ‘If you want to play for me, work hard.’ My recruiting responsibilities will start at Rogers.”
Miethe has strong loyalties to both Pirates programs. He played center for Rogers on the school’s last varsity football team with a winning record in 1994. He celebrates Oct. 17 each year, the day during his senior season that Rogers last beat Gonzaga Prep. After graduating, he moved on to Whitworth in John Tully’s first season as head coach. Tully was fired at the end of last season. Miethe has worked as the color radio commentator for Whitworth games.
Rogers sophomore wide receiver Khalil Winfrey said Miethe will “always be a Pirate,” as in the Rogers variety.
“Once he told the team the news about him getting a coaching job at Whitworth, my heart felt like it just stopped and my jaw dropped and I started to tear up,” said Winfrey, one of many promising younger players hoping to give Rogers a winning season. “I’m going to miss Miethe, but it’s awesome he got the job.”
Miethe said he was surprised to be offered the position after a winless season. But he believes he’s leaving the Rogers program in a stronger position to compete, in part by working to create youth football programs that feed into the school. Rogers Principal Lori Wyborney said there are internal candidates for the coaching job.
“Matt is going to be sorely missed around here at Rogers on the football field,” she said. “He turned so many boys into men.”
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