Rogel on a 1951 Bowman football card
|Date of birth:||December 12, 1927|
|Place of birth:||North Braddock, Pennsylvania|
|Date of death:||June 3, 2002(aged 74)|
|Place of death:||Richland, Pennsylvania|
|College:||California State Teachers College,
|NFL Draft:||1950 / Round: 8 / Pick 100|
Career highlights and awards
|Playing stats at|
Unable to enroll at Penn State due to the college's post-World War II policy of giving admissions priority to returning veterans, Rogel spent the 1946 season playing at the California State Teachers College. There he, along with other top-tier talent awaiting admission, helped propel the Vulcans football team to a 9-0-0 record.
Rogel continued on to Penn State, where he was a star fullback and linebacker for three seasons. He was the Nittany Lions' leading rusher each of those seasons and was on the 1948 Cotton Bowl Classic team which tied Southern Methodist, 13-13.
NFL and CFL
Rogel's style of play could be characterized by "Hey Diddle Diddle, Rogel up the middle" — a popular cheer by Steelers fans. Head coach Walt Kiesling — a conservative-minded coach much like Marty Schottenheimer would be years later with Marty Ball — would start every game by running exactly the same play: "Rogel up the middle." One day, owner Art Rooney suggested to Kiesling to throw it instead. Not wanting to be undermined by Rooney, Kiesling had one of his lineman intentionally go offsides so it could nullify the play. Sure enough, against the rival Cleveland Browns, quarterback Jim Finks threw a touchdown pass that was nullified by the penalty. The following play after the penalty would be "Rogel up the middle."
By the time of his retirement following the 1957 season, he was the Steelers' leading career rusher with 3,271 yards. He was a Pro Bowl selection in his final season. Rogel also played briefly in the Canadian Football League.
It is interesting to note that in 1959 Rogel was the playing coach of the Sarnia Golden Bears in the semi-pro ORFU. Because of his running style he was nicknamed "twinkle toes".
For 8 years during the 1960s Rogel was head football coach at North Braddock Scott High School and for 8 years in the 1970s he was head coach at Highlands High School in Natrona Heights, PA. His teams made one playoff appearance and he was generally disliked by his players.