Ask any college baseball fan to name the 25 best college baseball coaches ever and you’ll probably get 25 different answers. Rest assured there is one name that will pop up alongside a slew of record-breaking NCAA Division I coaches.
Since inheriting Southern University baseball program Roger Cador has led Southern baseball into one of the foremost successful Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball programs across the nation. Entering his 31st season in 2016, the most tenure at any HBCU program. Ever since 1985, Cador has maintained a winning atmosphere on and off the field.
Cador is more than a college baseball coach to the many former and current ballplayers that have set foot on the Southern baseball field. After 31 years he became a mentor and a good friend to the young men that have graced in his presence because it is not all about the sport itself. Having more than 35 former student-athletes sign major league baseball contracts or launch a career in other aspects of the game such as scouting, coaching and umpiring. Mainly receiving a college education.
Cador once stated “baseball helps you to look at life for what it really is. It helped me to understand how fragile people are”. To all of his players it’s not all about competing in America’s greatest pastime, but the trials and tribulations of life and meeting those head on.
To college baseball fans, coach Roger Cador’s success at Southern University is well known. His accomplishments producing 14 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships, 14 Southwestern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards, eight NCAA tournament appearances, and three NCAA play-in tournament appearances. All records within the NCAA and HBCU coaching ranks.
Cador is the first HBCU to win a game in the NCAA tournament. “His 1987 Jaguars upset then no. 2 ranked Cal-State Fullerton, 1-0 in South Region play”.
Cador has compiled an 870-511-1 Division I coaching record ranks 24th among winningest active DI coaches per the latest 2015 NCAA baseball coaching records. Since the 1995-96 season, the SU baseball program has led the country in winning percentage several times (95-96, 34-7, .829); (00-01, 43-12, .782); (01-02, 45-10, .818); and (02-03, 44-7, .813).
Cador published an autobiography “Against All Odds,” that archives the 30 years of Southern baseball and the many challenges he faced, and the personal lives that he changed.
To increase exposure, he organized the Major League Baseball Urban Invitational that receives a commitment to bring Americans pastime back to urban youth and the communities for which they serve with a three-day tournament to showcase baseball at HBCUs. He is also a member of MLB task force to improve African-American youth participation in baseball.
Cador attended Southern University. Drafted as an outfielder by the Atlanta Braves organization in the 10th round in 1973 played five seasons at Class-AAA. Returned to Southern received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education in 1975. He earned a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1979.
Black College Nines had a candid conversation with the legendary Southern University baseball coach Roger Cador. Believe me, when I say this. It doesn’t get any better than this.