HELENA -- Jim Hogan’s watch as the Carroll College offensive line coach has ended.
“Hogie” on Monday retired after 19 seasons with the Carroll College Saints, and 37 years total in the coaching ranks.
“I will truly miss is the camaraderie with the coaches and the players,” Hogan said via Carroll athletics. “I’m not stepping away because I lost the ability to coach. I made a clear decision that it is time for me.”
As long as Mike Van Diest has been a head coach at Carroll College, Hogan and offensive coordinate Nick Howlett have been at his side. Hogan coached the offensive line for the past 17 seasons and has been the mastermind of the Carroll College strength and conditioning program during his tenure.
The Lacey, Washington, native coached the Saints to six national championships, including a string of four consecutive from 2002-05. Carroll also won titles in 2007 and 2010. During his tenure, Carroll won 14 Frontier Conference championships, which included a run of 12 consecutive from 2000-11. He’s coached 12 first-team all-conference linemen. He’s coached seven All-Americans and 26 all-conference players. Two of his standouts earned the Rimington Award, which is given to the best center in each classification.
“You look at the two Rimington Trophy winners in Kyle Baker and Andy Fjeseth,” Van Diest said. “There isn’t a player at any other school in the conference that has won one of those awards, and Jim has coached two of them. His success is evident in the success that his players have, not just as football players, but as businessmen, as fathers, as husbands. I think that is the most impressive thing that Jim can take away from this job.”
One of his workhorses, Josh James, is currently under contract with the Buffalo Bills.
"He was a great mentor to me as a player and as a man," James said.
The NAIA named Hogan its Strength Coach of the Year in 2005 and then its Assistant Coach of the Year in 2013.
Hogan’s offensive lines have been a large part of the Saints’ success over the years. Even when the Saints went through a third consecutive 4-6 season this past one, they finished with the highest rushing yardage in the Frontier Conference, which is largely attributed to the offensive line.
Chris Emter, who was named an AP All-American, was a large part of that success. Emter is pursuing a pro dream, too, as he prepares for the University of Montana’s Pro Day this spring, while also competing in track and field.
“Hogie’s work ethic is astounding,” Emter said. “He is there at 4:30 a.m. and there all day. That is a big thing that I will take on to the future.”
That work ethic started long ago.
Hogan played linebacker at the University of Montana. In a sixth year of eligibility, Hogan had a chance to play when Van Diest was an assistant in 1980. After that, he coached at Broadus, Montana, for two years and then bounced from Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyoming – where he met his wife, Barb -- to Montana Western before settling into a role at Billings Central for eight years. There, Hogan coached track and field, wrestling and football.
In 1999, after longtime Carroll coach Bob Petrino Sr. stepped aside, Hogan encouraged his friend, Van Diest, to apply for the job. The almost-immediate success Van Diest, Hogan and Howlett created at Carroll was unprecedented in college football.
Hogan coached his oldest son, Anthony -- a 2008 Capital High grad -- at Carroll. Anthony Hogan played tight end for the Saints.
Hogan’s youngest daughter, Brittany, is a member of the Saints’ softball program, and credited her father’s drive and motivation as key points in her life.
Hogan’s friendly mustache and burly build will still be around Carroll College. He’ll be taking another job with the university.