Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Welcome to our new series, Meet the Coaches, featuring inspiring and successful beach volleyball coaches. We are so excited to introduce our first guest, Todd Rogers. Todd Rogers, also known as "The Professor," is the head beach volleyball coach at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Not only is he an amazing coach, but he played beach volleyball professionally for 20 years. Throughout his professional career, he won countless AVP titles, FIVB titles, and represented USA at the Summer Olympic Games in 2004, 2008 (winning the gold medal, no big deal), and 2012. In only 5 season with the Cal Poly Mustangs, Todd has guided the program to its highest ranking in 2020, led the team to win its first Big West Championship in 2019, and the team qualified for its first appearance in the NCAA Championship in 2019. Honestly, his achievements are endless and can easily take up the whole page! I had the pleasure of coaching with him at Cal Poly and learning valuable lessons about volleyball and life from him. He is such an inspiring and hard-working individual on and off the court.
Without further ado, please welcome Todd Rogers!
Tell us about your career path leading up to becoming a college coach.
I’ve always enjoyed coaching and have been coaching in some form or another for the past 30 years. Club indoor, soccer, kids sports, collegiately, camps or clinics for all ages... But coaching took a back seat (kind of) to playing when I was physically able and good enough to play. I played pro beach for 20 years and during that time I realized I had to use my brain not my brawn in order to succeed. As I came towards the end of my pro career the opportunity to get back in to collegiate coaching presented itself and I took it! Been enjoying that aspect of my life ever since.
What are you most looking for in an athlete you are recruiting?
First and foremost, athleticism. I think every coach is looking for that. Next, I am looking for movement patterns within the game. Passing footwork, attack footwork/angle of approach, defensive and blocking footwork and eye sequence, if I can see that. Hard to find out sometimes, but how a player reacts under different circumstances with their partner/teammate(s) is also important. Are they building or tearing down players?
What are your expectations for your current athletes?
Put forth maximal effort at that point in time. Think the game through don’t just react to it. Hold yourself accountable on and off the court. Excel in everything you do! Why settle for anything less?
How would you describe your coaching style?
Laid-back intensity. I’m not a yeller and screamer and I am about building a player up not tearing them down. However, you piss me off by not giving me full effort...
Best advice for someone going through the recruiting process?
Be yourself. People get caught up on being someone they “think” a coach is going to want. Especially when they are focused on one school. Much better to be yourself otherwise your false advertising and if a coach finds that out through whatever means most of them are going to run for the hills.