John Roderique speaks during the Webb City Schools Foundation Honors Banquet Tuesday.

John Roderique inducted into WC R-7 Hall of Fame

Bob Foos

John Roderique stuck with one of his traits, humility, as he was being inducted into the Webb City R-7 Hall of Fame.

The 1986 graduate of Webb City High School thanked the “tremendous people,” his teachers, principals and colleagues, who shaped him through discipline and support while he was a student and throughout his 26-year career as head football coach.

He cited the three superintendents he worked for, Ron Barton, Ron Lankford and Tony Rossetti, for being “great leaders.”

Barton told him when he was hired that, “We want you to be successful, but I don’t want you to sacrifice your family for it.”

“Nobody is successful on their own,” he said, thanking the coaches and parents, who have helped the football program to be one of the best in the state and nation.

“I feel lucky to have coached in this district for all the years that I did,” he said. But he admitted not all years were good.

After going 14-0 in 1997, his first year, the Cardinals nearly had a losing season in 1998, with a 5-5 record. Webb City fans weren’t optimistic he could guide the program back to the Show-Me Bowl. “We had For Sale signs put in our yard.” And profane messages were left on the phone. Even in the grocery line, he recalled being confronted by a mean little old lady.

Roderique said he’s found there are two main things about coaching – the goal and the purpose.

Early in his career, he focused on having the best team in Missouri. As he grew professionally and as a person, he realized his purpose was to prepare his players for life. One of his joys now, he said, is catching up with former players.

Roderique is retired from coaching, but he continues as the district’s athletic director.

Superintendent Tony Rossetti talks about John Roderique’s success.

Superintendent Tony Rossetti detailed the many ways
John Roderique qualifies to join the hall of fame.

Each year, the Hall of Fame committee chooses an individual to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The criteria for this award is as follows:

The alumnus of a school that currently comprises the Webb City R-7 School District;

  • Graduated or attended high school at least twenty-five (25) years ago;
  • Achieved outstanding recognition in their chosen field;
  • Received recognition regionally, state, or national level; and
  • Made significant contributions to benefit and serve the community, state, or nation

This last year, John Roderique was chosen as the 2023 Hall of Fame inductee.

John was a…

  • Webb City High School graduate, 1986
  • Graduate of Pittsburg State University in 1990 BSED
  •  and MSED in Physical Education in 1992 
  • American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Regional Coach of the Year, 2001
  • USA Football as a Master Trainer since 2015
  • National Federation of State High School Association (NFHSA) – Midwest High School Coach of the Year, 2017-18
  • Recognized  as No. 35 on MaxPreps’ list of the 50 Greatest High School Football Coaches of all time, 2018
  • No. 2 on MaxPreps’ list of Football Coaches with the highest career winning percentage, with 300 or more wins
  • WCHS head football coach 26 years
  • WCHS athletic director 17 years
  • 315-35 career record
  • 23 district championships (22 consecutive)
  • 20 state semi-final games (15-5 record)
  • 103 playoff game appearances (92-11 record)
  • 15 state championship appearances
  • 13 state championships

He is a member/recipient of the following:

  • Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
  • Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame
  • Joplin Area Sports Hall of Fame
  • Pittsburg State University Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Webb City R-7 Schools Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Meritorious Achievement Award – Pittsburg State University
  • Missouri Football Coaches Association Pete Adkins Power of Influence Award