English: TCNJ Library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ewing, NJ … Wayne Dickens, the Head Coach for The College of New Jersey football team, announced his retirement from coaching on Tuesday.
TCNJ has named assistant coach and defensive coordinator Rocky Hager as the interim head coach for the 2016 season.
Dickens coached the Lions the past three seasons and has paced the football sidelines for over 24 years. He will ride off into the San Diego sunset with a four-game winning streak, as TCNJ won its final four games of the 2015 season. Dickens compiled an overall record of 11-18 with the Lions, and will return to the west coast to enjoy his retirement.
“It took some time to reflect, but after coaching for 24 years for a living, I’m stepping away to enter the next phase of my life to enjoy some of the things I’ve always dreamed about doing,” said Dickens. “I would like to thank President Gitenstein and the college for having the faith and confidence in me to lead the football program at TCNJ. I would also like to thank the student-athletes, their parents and families, and the campus community in general. It has been a wonderful experience at TCNJ, and coaching those young men has been an honor.”
A native of Orange, NJ and 1973 graduate of Rutgers College, Dickens was hired at TCNJ in the summer of 2013. He arrived from Kentucky State University, where he was the head coach from 2009 – 2012. Dickens made several stops on the collegiate and professional level during his football coaching career, two of which were the University of San Diego and San Diego State University. He will now make San Diego his permanent residence, where one of his four daughters, Alison, also resides.
“I want to personally thank Coach Dickens for all of his leadership, hard work, and dedication,” said Amy Hecht, Vice President for Student Affairs. “During Wayne's tenure, our football teams were always prepared and competed with fierce intensity. He developed great character in our student-athletes, and I am proud of the wonderful group of young men who are so committed to TCNJ, their academics, and their community.”
Hager has been a key member of Dickens’ staff since 2013. He has an impressive coaching pedigree, highlighted by leading North Dakota State to back-to-back undefeated seasons and winning Division II national titles in 1988 and 1990. Hager was also an assistant coach at Temple University before becoming the head coach at Northeastern University.