PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A former Dartmouth College quarterback and assistant coach has returned to the Granite State to become the 10th head football coach at Plymouth State College.
PSC athletic director Steve Bamford has announced that Chris Rorke is the new Panther head football coach. Rorke comes to PSC with coaching experience at Dartmouth and Georgia Tech, as well as his most recent position as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at Illinois Wesleyan University.
A 1989 graduate of Dartmouth College, Rorke replaces Mike Kemp, who resigned last month to take over the head coaching position at Utica College.
“Chris Rorke comes to us with 10 years of coaching experience under his belt at both the Division I and III levels,” said Bamford. “People who have worked with Chris indicate that he is an extremely hard worker, is well organized, and possesses outstanding people skills. He impressed the various interview committees with his background, energy, enthusiasm and his ability to sell himself.”
After graduating from Dartmouth in 1989, Rorke served two years as a graduate assistant football coach while pursuing his Master’s degree at Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked under coach Bobby Ross, participating in the Division I national championship season of 1990. Rorke returned to his alma mater and was receivers and tight ends coach from 1991-93. His duties at Dartmouth also included recruiting New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont as well as serving as head junior varsity coach.
Rorke had been the offensive coordinator at Illinois Wesleyan since 1994, where he also was the men’s golf coach and the athletic recruiting coordinator for all sports. In his five seasons, the program has recorded a 38-9 record, winning two conference titles and finishing runner-up three times. IWU advanced to the final eight in the NCAA Division III play-offs and had the Division III Player of the Year in 1996.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity at Plymouth State,” said Rorke, a native of North Andover, Mass. “It’s a chance to come home to New England and coach a program that’s historically been a championship program. That’s an exciting prospect for a young, first-time head coach. I’m looking forward to the challenge of bringing a conference championship back to Plymouth State.”
Rorke will officially begin on July 1st, but he has already begun making calls to line up a coaching staff. He met a handful of his players during the interview process, but will not meet the majority until fall camp begins.
“Hopefully several members of the previous staff will be staying on to provide continuity and to make the transition a lot smoother,” said Rorke, “and of the players I met, I was very impressed with them as a group.”
Rorke and his wife Mary Alice will relocate to the area this summer.