Arrangements Finalized For Rock Roggeman

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Visitation and funeral information for East Carolina University Assistant Football Coach Thomas "Rock" Roggeman, who passed away June 14, has been finalized.

The visitation will take place Thursday, June 24 in Bubb Funeral Chapel (574-255-3126) on 3910 North Main Street in Mishawaka, Ind., from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, June 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Pius X Catholic Church (574-272-8462) on 52553 Fir Road in Granger, Ind., followed by a prayer service at Fairview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society or SECU Family House, 123 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517-4431. The home is a residential facility for cancer patients and their family members.

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Former East Carolina University Assistant Football Coach Thomas "Rock" Roggeman died Monday afternoon in Chapel Hill after a year-long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 47 years old.

Roggeman was on medical leave from the university at the time of his death.

Roggeman, who joined former head coach Skip Holtz' staff at East Carolina in December, 2004, was in his fifth overall season as an assistant coach and third heading the team’s defensive tackles before officially departing the program last Sept. 28 - two days after the Pirates' 19-14 victory over UCF.

He tutored a total of eight All-Conference USA selections and three league all-freshman team choices during his tenure with the Pirates, which also included a run of four consecutive bowl appearances and back-to-back league championships.

After working with the linebackers in 2005 and 2006, Roggeman moved to the interior of ECU's line and quickly developed Linval Joseph and Jay Ross into honor-winning performers. The duo opened a combined 51 of 56 contests the last two title-winning seasons, booked 35 tackles for lost yardage and posted 11.5 sacks.

Joseph, who was selected by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2010 National Football League draft after the completion of his junior season, was a two-time All-Conference USA performer who recorded 60 tackles in 2009 - a team-high 13.0 coming behind the line of scrimmage for lost yardage.

Ross earned All-Conference USA honors as a senior in 2009 after recording 47 tackles, 4.5 resulting in lost yardage. He closed out his career with a program-best 38 straight starts before signing a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints in April.

Prior to his appointment at ECU, Roggeman served as defensive line coach at Alabama State for three seasons beginning in 2002. He helped lead the Hornets to a 10-2 record and a Southwestern Athletic Conference title in 2004 and also played a key role in the performance of one of the top defenses on the entire NCAA Division I-AA level - earning top 10 national ranks in turnover margin (6th/+1.17), turnovers forced (7th/34), fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (7th/9) and rushing defense (9th/103.0 ypg.).

From 1998 to 2001, Roggeman worked at SWAC-member Alabama A&M, handling the Bulldogs' defensive line during the first two years before earning a promotion from head coach Ron Cooper to defensive coordinator prior to the 2000 season, a move which netted unprecedented results.

He built and guided one of the top defensive units on all levels of college football history in 2000, topping I-AA nationally in rushing defense (39.7 ypg/NCAA record), fewest yards per carry (1.3 ypc), fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (5) and sacks (60 for -365 yards). In addition, the Bulldogs stood eighth nationally in total defense (275.6 ypg).

Roggeman enhanced his reputation as a noted run-stopper the following season, as Alabama A&M finished third nationally in rushing defense (80.8 ypg) and fourth in fewest yards per carry (2.4 ypc).

Roggeman also worked on Cooper's staff at Eastern Michigan (1993-94), where he served as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, and at Louisville (1995-97).

During his three-year tenure with the Cardinals, Roggeman helped mold a defensive unit which led the nation in turnovers forced (45/1995) and earned other top 10 Division I-A statistical standings in turnover ratio (2nd/1995), scoring defense (6th/1995), total defense (4th/1996), rushing defense (4th/1996) and pass efficiency defense (9th/1996).

Roggeman began his full-time coaching career as a defensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at Murray State in 1987 before moving to Nevada-Las Vegas three years later to handle the Rebels' defensive line efforts.

He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Notre Dame in 1985 after playing on Fighting Irish squads which competed in the 1983 Liberty Bowl and 1984 Aloha Bowl. Roggeman was cited as a 1984 Monogram winner before accepting a two-year position as a graduate assistant under head coaches Gerry Faust and Lou Holtz.

Roggeman was a Parade All-America selection as a linebacker at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., while also earning membership into the National Honor Society. His father, Thomas Sr., is an Indiana Football Hall of Fame inductee after an illustrious coaching career at the high school and collegiate level.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced when completed.


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  • by Patty Location: St. Peter's on Jun 21, 2010 at 07:51 PM
    We will miss the example that Rock set as a good and holy man. We were all blessed to know him...he lived by the example of his strong faith as a Catholic. May each who befrinded him enjoy the wonderful memories. Prayers are with his dad, and family. We were blessed to have him as part of our Pirate and St. Peter's community. God Bless.
  • by Tracy Location: Ireland on Jun 17, 2010 at 02:41 AM
    A FB page has been set up in Honour of Coach Rock Roggeman... Please join Rock's Group and post your stories, pictures, prayers and thoughts about The GREAT man we know as ROCK.. God Bless you my friend. You are missed.. Slainté FB name...RIP Coach Rock Roggeman http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/group.php?gid=127585453941970
  • by nd guy Location: florida on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:11 AM
    I had the great privilege to have played with Rock back at Notre Dame in the '80's. We weren't the same year, (he was younger than me), and I was lucky enough to go on and play a few years in the NFL. I can tell you that I never had a better, more inspirational, or memorable teammate than Rock. He was a very special guy. And I ran across him a few times during his coaching career over the years, and he had grown and matured into an even more impressive guy. As great a teammate and coach as he was, he was an even better man, and that's saying something. With everything that can go wrong these days with college football (mega-money, mege-ego's, cheating, violations, etc.) Coach Rock was a shining example of everything that was RIGHT about college sports. RIP Coach Rock, you were a great one and will be sorely missed.
  • by Kimberly Location: Goddard, KS on Jun 16, 2010 at 07:27 AM
    Rock was and always will be the love of my life. I have never met anyone that had so much Catholic Faith. I will miss him dearly. My prayers are with his dad, sisters and brother. He missed his mom so much and I know he has reunited with her in Heaven. You will be an Awesome Angel Rock! Dance your soul away! Much love and prayers to all the people mourning right now. Miss you Rock and until we meet again!
  • by Donna Location: Ayden on Jun 15, 2010 at 12:50 PM
    I am so sorry to hear that. I had the privilege of meeting Rock once, and he was a perfect gentleman. From all I hear, he fought a good fight. Condolences to his family and friends...
  • by Shaun Location: Pittsfield, MA on Jun 15, 2010 at 12:17 PM
    I just got the news this morning from a mutual friend. Rock was always a positive, upbeat and faith-filled man and would often stir the pot in online forums just to get people's enthusiasm and interest up. Topics like "London Calling is the greatest LP of All-Time, hands-down" would cause a reaction in forums as always (but he was right about that fact! ;) ). His enthusiasm for God, his strong Catholic Faith, football and the very people he often encouraged was a positive force to be reckoned with. I'm sure his spirit is still going around the world, stirring the pot, tapping people on their proverbial shoulders and beckoning them to do their best to meet him later in Heaven.
  • by Liam Location: Washington DC on Jun 15, 2010 at 07:28 AM
    What a loss. He was a truly good man-- and his influence on others will live on after him for many years.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Jun 15, 2010 at 07:19 AM
    RIP coach Rock. I will never forget my wife and I meeting you, and you were a genuine down to earth man and also a fantastic coach. May God comfort the family and friends of Rock. You will always be in the heart of us and the rest of pirate nation.
  • by Pirateman Location: Greenville on Jun 15, 2010 at 03:46 AM
    R.I.P. Rock R.I.P.
  • by Jerry Location: Tulsa, OK on Jun 14, 2010 at 10:52 PM
    Rock was a man of great faith and even greater conviction. He will be missed. My prayers are with him and his family. Animabus, quaesumus, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum oratio proficiat supplicantium: ut eas et a peccatis omnibus exuas, et tuae Redemptionis facias esse participes. Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen. O Lord, we beseech Thee, that the prayer of Thy suppliants may benefit the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, that Thou mayest deliver them from all their sins, and make them partakers of Thy redemption. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
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