Class of 2019Active: 1995 - 2016
80 Open Victories
Beach volleyball, particularly the defender position, is very much a thinking man’s game. Strategy on defensive positioning, shot selection, serving schemes and much more are as important as the physical aspects of the game. And nobody in the last twenty years has used the power of the mind more than Todd Rogers and in doing so put together one of the best careers the sport has ever seen while earning the most appropriate nickname, the Professor.
Make no mistake about it, while Rogers relied heavily on his brain he was also a supremely gifted athlete. A two-sport star out of San Marcos high school in both soccer and volleyball, Rogers excelled at the indoor game at UC Santa Barbara where he was a two time All-American and set school records for assists and digs.
After college, he began his beach career with high school classmate Dax Holdren and made an. immediate impact on tour. Rogers was the AVP Rookie of the Year in 1997 and won his first tournament at the Minneapolis Open in 1998. Rogers and Holdren would go on to win eight professional tournaments. Following a successful partnership with Sean Scott, with whom he would notch wins at the Chicago and Honolulu Opens, Rogers hooked up with a rising young blocker from Florida name Phil Dalhausser.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Rogers and Dalhausser would go on to from one of the most successful partnerships in the sport’s history. From the mid-2000s through 2012 the duo dominated both the domestic and international circuits notching a staggering 42 wins and over $2 million in prize money. Rogers was named both the AVP’s and FIVB’s best defensive player four years in a row, the AVP most valuable player in 2006 and USA volleyball’s player-of-the-year in 2007.
At the height of his game, Roger’s defensive skills were unmatched, whether chasing down shots or making spectacular digs on hard driven balls, only rarely did the ball touch the sand on his side. While he was superb defensively, you underestimated his offensive skills at your own risk. Not only did he possess a wide array of precision shots he could also bring the hammer when needed, directly challenging the biggest blockers on tour.
A two-time Olympian, Rogers entered the 2008 Beijing Olympics as the #1 ranked team in the World, and lived up to expectations dominating the field and winning the gold medal with Dalhausser.
After retiring at the end of the 2016 season, Rogers assumed the head coaching position at Cal Poly beach program. With his wealth of knowledge, perhaps no player in modern history has been better suited for coaching and Rogers has had an immediate impact taking the program to its first NCAA Championships in 2019.
Rogers and his wife Melissa live in Santa Ynez where they raised their two children Hannah and Nate.
The Professor is now a Hall of Famer, raising the IQ of the Hall of Fame several notches.