WACO, Texas - Langston University's (Okla.) Donnita Drain-Rogers has earned the distinction of 2016-17 RRAC Athletic Director of the Year, two years after returning to the school to take the lead role with the Lions' program. Rogers was the head women's basketball for Langston from 2000-08 and, since her return in 2015, the department has reached new heights.
The RRAC AD of the Year award recognizes the athletic director who had the best year in overall program improvement, facility development, game administration, NAIA Champions of Character commitment, ability to hire and keep quality coaches, program growth in sports and revenue opportunities, contributions at the conference and national levels, and student-athlete development.
Rogers was previously recognized as the 2003 NAIA Region VI Athletic Director of the Year while at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. In the last year, she improved Langston's promotional tools, created a new national event and has overseen a number of program honors such as the Lions first trip to the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinals.
"Although I am not surprised, I am proud that our Director of Athletics, Donnita Drain-Rogers, was selected for this prestigious award by the RRAC," says Langston President Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. Donnita exhibits daily the rare combination of having a remarkably high work ethic while maintaining exemplary character at all times"
"We are blessed and honored to have her at Langston University and we appreciate the RRAC for recognizing her value and effort."
Led by Head Coach Stan Holt, the Langston men's basketball team reached the RRAC Basketball Tournament championship game before climbing to the Elite Eight of the NAIA tournament. The Lions won the RRAC tournament in 2016. Langston's women's basketball team also reached the RRAC tournament.
In the spring, Langston hosted the first ever National HBCU Softball Classic at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. In addition to the Lions, seven visiting teams competed over two days including Grambling State University (La.) and Southern University (La.). Langston followed that with two upsets in the RRAC Softball Tournament to finish fourth in the event. The Lions placed third in RRAC men's track & field and fourth in the women's meet.
Langston had five volleyball all-conference selections, four in women's basketball, five in men's basketball and two NAIA All-Americans.
During the last year, Langston redesigned its athletics website to enhance its coverage and stepped up its efforts to provide news and content through social media.
Rogers graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in December of 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education and an endorsement in Biology. She obtained her Master's degree in Education Administration at Texas A&M University-Commerce. While attending NWOSU, she obtained such honors as NAIA National Player of the Week, Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference Scholar-Athlete, OIC and NAIA District IX All-Conference Teams and Northwestern Ranger Queen in 1988. Rogers was inducted into the NWOSU Hall of Fame in January of 1998. After gruaduating, she served four years as Athletic Director for Women's Sports at her alma mater.
During her coaching tenure at Langston, Rogers led the Lady Lions to six NAIA Division I National Tournament appearances. The 2007 season also marked Coach Rogers's first trip to the Elite Eight of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship. Rogers has more wins than any other Langston women's basketball coach and recorded nine consecutive winning seasons prior to leaving. Rogers' teams went undefeated in conference play their last two seasons and won 34 consecutive conference games. Her 2008 team had a 27-game winning streak and consisted of Jamie Skinner, the RRAC Player of the Year, First Team All-American and State Farm All-American, as well as Dominique Thomas, the RRAC Defensive Player of the Year. Rogers' 2007-2008 team finished with a #6 national ranking, a record of 31-2 and a berth to the round of 16 at the NAIA tournament.
Rogers coached for four years at Grambling and led the Tigers to two consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal appearances. Rogers was named the SWAC Coach of the Year during the 2010 season and had the ninth-ranked recruiting class among NCAA Division I mid-major colleges in her last season.
Prior to becoming the athletic director at Langston, Rogers served as the head boys basketball coach at Booker T. Washington High School in Shreveport, La., and is the first female to coach a varsity boys' basketball team in Caddo Parish. Rogers picked up her 300th career win during her first season and finished 22-9 and ranked #13 in 3A boys' basketball this year. Rogers' Lions made it to the LHSAA quarterfinals to achieve their best finish since the mid-1980s.
Rogers' husband, Eric, is Youth Minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Grambling, La., and a business entrepreneur.