West Liberty Football Camps
Head Coach Roger Waialae
The dean of Mountain East Conference football coaches, Roger Waialae’s 77 career victories lead all MEC grid bosses by a wide margin as he heads into his 15th season at the Hilltopper helm. Those 77 wins also rank No. 2 on the school’s all-time list, trailing only WLU Hall of Famer Joe Bartell, who went 118-55-11 from 1933-56.
While WLU has been working through some challenges in recent years, the Hilltoppers have enjoyed plenty of on-field success during the Waialae Era, finishing .500 or better in league play during nine of his 14 seasons and making their presence felt at the regional and national levels.
Waialae’s 2010 Hilltoppers made history as the only NCAA Division II team ever to lead the nation in scoring and total offense in consecutive seasons. That group just missed an NCAA Division II playoff bid with a 7-3 record and tied for runner-up honors in the WVIAC with a 6-2 league mark – the fifth straight year Waialae’s Hilltoppers had finished first or second in the league.
That 2010 team followed on the heels of the powerful 2009 squad which won a school-record 11 games while carving an unbeaten swath through the WVIAC and advancing to the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals. The 2009 Hilltoppers cracked the AFCA Top 25 for the first time in school history, finishing the year ranked No. 9 in the national poll.
The team success during the Waialae Era has been matched at the individual level. Ben Staggs won the 2009 Gene Upshaw Award as the nation’s top NCAA Division II lineman while Zach Amedro shattered several NCAA Division II passing records and was a 2-time runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy as National Player of the Year. Waialae has coached 17 NCAA Division II All-Americans and 56 first-team All-Conference selections.
A native of Hawaii, Waialae is one of only three Pacific Islanders working as an NCAA head football coach and the only one at the NCAA Division II level. A Small-College All-America quarterback at the University of Dubuque (Iowa), Waialae was inducted into the Dubuque Hall of Fame in 2008.
Waialae spent one year at Dubuque as offensive coordinator before heading overseas for a year as a player-coach with the Munich Rangers of the German-American Football League. He served two years as offensive coordinator at Bethany (W.Va.) College before coming to West Liberty as an assistant coach in 1992.
Roger and his wife, Karen, are the parents of three children – Ryan, Laura and Kayla.