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Wayne Dickens retires, TCNJ names Rocky Hager interim coach

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The College of New Jersey will have a new football head coach on an interim basis for the 2016 season. On Tuesday, Wayne Dickens, their previous head coach, announced his retirement.

The school has announced that Dickens’ full-time assistant coach Rocky Hager as their interim coach. He’ll hold the job for a season, then the school will decide what to do next.

Hager was the team’s defensive coordinator since Dickens was hired three seasons ago.

While Dickens was at the school for three-years, he has been a football coach for 24-years. He’ll be moving to San Diego, Ca. in his next chapter of his life.

During the 2015 season, the Lions finished with a four-game win streak. Yet, he was 11-18 with the team.

“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,” Dickens said. “I would like to thank President (Barbara) 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.”

Dickens was hired by the school after the sudden retirement of former long-time head coach Eric Hamilton in 2013. He joined the team with a short-time before the 2013 season started.

He came to the school from Kentucky State University, where he was their head coach in 2009 to 2012. He’s coaches at the collegiate and professional level, including stops at the University of San Diego and San Diego State University.

One of his four daughters, Alison, resides in San Diego.

“I want to personally thank Coach Dickens for all of his leadership, hard work and dedication,” Amy Hecht, Vice President of Student Affairs, said. “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 man, who are so committed to TCNJ, their academics and their community.”

Like Dickens, Hager has been coaching for a long-time, including helping North Dakota State to back-to-back undefeated seasons. The Bison won two Division II national titles in 1988 and 1990.

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