Liberal’s Rodriguez Named Interim Coach at Akron
Brock Kappelmann - November 4, 2021 1:51 pm
Liberal native Oscar Rodriguez is a division one head football coach. Oscar Rodriguez is the interim head coach for the Akron Zips football program. Akron athletic director Charles Guthrie announced Thursday morning that the school has decided to make a leadership change in its football program. The Akron release says that “effective immediately, Oscar Rodriguez, current associate head coach, will assume the role of interim head coach through the end of the season.” He steps in for coach Tom Arth. The release says the university will launch a national search for a new head football coach immediately.
Oscar Rodriguez, Jr., is in his third season as the Zips’ inside linebackers coach in 2021 at the University of Akron. He was elevated in the summer of 2021 to associate head coach before being tabbed as the interim head coach on Nov. 4, 2021.
He came to Akron from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he served as the Mocs’ linebackers coach in 2018. He was promoted to assistant head coach following the 2018 season.
Previously, Rodriguez was the defensive coordinator for three seasons at the University of La Verne (Calif.) where he was the 2017 NCAA Division III AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Rodriguez came to La Verne from Garden City (Kan.) Community College where he served as the football team’s defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and director of operations.
Prior to Garden City, Rodriguez was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator for NCAA Division II Emporia State (Kan.) University. There he mentored two All-Americans and 11 All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Emporia State was ranked in the top-five in the MIAA in all defensive categories in 2011-13.
At Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College from 2010-11, Rodriguez tutored eventual NFL players Markus Golden, Meshak Williams and Cordarrelle Patterson to All-American seasons while serving as a co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach. During Rodriguez’s time at Hutchinson, the school was ranked in the top-10, nationally, in every defensive category.
As a co-defensive coordinator at NAIA Baker (Kan.) University from 2008 to 2010, Rodriguez helped lead the program to its first playoff appearance and first back-to-back winning seasons in 15 years, while helping the team achieve a national ranking as high as 12th.
Rodriguez got his first coaching position at Randall (Texas) High School as the defensive backs coach in 2005. He earned his first college assignment at Washburn (Kan.) University where he worked with future NFL players Cary Williams, Terrell Fletcher and Michael Wilhoite.
Rodriguez graduated from Liberal High School in 2000.