There hasn't been too much to cheer about in regards to Gonzaga football over the past two years, but the right arm of a 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior could change everything this coming fall. Kevin Hogan started the last six games of Gonzaga's season in 2008, and he finished with over 1,000 yards passing and ten touchdowns. Hogan also plays basketball, and his coaches rave about what Hogan brings to the table on a daily basis.
“His work ethic definitely rubs off on his teammates,” Gonzaga’s head basketball coach Steve Turner said. “He’s a kid who really pushes himself night in and night out, having to be a two-sport athlete. His body is in tip-top shape from playing football, and then he is able to walk right in and pick it up on the basketball court.”
That work ethic is exactly why Gonzaga’s head football coach Joe Reyda also holds Hogan in such high regard.
“He is probably the best quarterback that’s come through Gonzaga since Gary McIntosh,” Reyda said. “It was 1986 when McIntosh got out of here. We’ve had some athletic quarterbacks, but I think it’s the whole package that makes him a big-time quarterback.”
After a successful sophomore season, Hogan is looking to build on that solid start at quarterback, and possibly turn around Gonzaga’s 2-8 record from last season. With good reason, as he is only 2-4 as a starter, and taking the reigns of the offense from Chris Speros.
“From what I’ve seen in the summer passing league so far, our team seems to respond to the way Kevin responds,” Reyda said. “When he’s on, then they’re on. When he’s off a little bit, then they’re off a little bit. So he’s definitely going to be a leader out there.”
Even though Hogan is such a hard worker, Reyda believes that there is ample room for improvement, as Hogan potentially tries to sculpt his body into something even more difficult than a two-sport high school athlete – a Division 1 football player.
“He can do some great things over these two years,” Reyda said. “He’s got a great arm, height and athleticism. He’s smart. He’s a hard worker. He has the entire package. If he stays healthy, he has some good things ahead of him in the future.”
And that’s before we even get into the basketball side.
Hogan was also a backup swingman for the Gonzaga Eagles’ second place WCAC basketball team last year, along with the football requirements.
“I think (basketball) helps him,” Reyda said. “Just him being the athlete he is, knowing how much basketball he plays, he’s not going to come into football out of shape. It keeps him busy and keeps him focused, and that makes him a better athlete.”
Hogan put up some numbers in basketball, too, amassing 94 points. His season high came against Good Counsel, in which he scored 12 points in a Gonzaga win. Could it possibly be a little retribution for their 45-0 pasting of the Eagles on the gridiron?
It seems that performing in front of WCAC football crowds helped Hogan to be at home in those cramped gymnasiums, too. At least, that’s what Turner thinks.
“I think the biggest thing he carries over is toughness,” Turner said. “He’s a guy that’s used to having to be hit on plays, most plays for football, and he definitely shows that out on the basketball court.”
Speaking of hits, one would figure that football coach Reyda might be a little hesitant to allow his quarterback to play basketball, as one false jump could end in a torn ACL or broken ankle, but Reyda insists that there is nothing but support from his office.
“We encourage our kids to get involved in as much as they can,” Reyda said. “This is their last opportunity to play multiple sports. Once they get into college, it’s not going to be a place they can play more than one sport. I want them to make the most out of their school experience. If it’s three sports, two sports, one sport, it’s up to them.”
So Hogan will continue doing the two-sport juggling act for the remainder of his high school career. And if that doesn’t sound like enough on Hogan’s plate for the last two years of high school – well – as Reyda says…
“I hear he’s a pretty good baseball player.”