“The Professor” at 47
SANTA YNEZ, California, United States, September 30, 2020 - It
has been over 50 months since Todd Rogers played in a
competitive beach volleyball match, but the Olympic and world
champion is still active in the sport as he turns 47 here today.
"I am at home today with my wife (Melissa), son (Nate), daughter
(Hannah), dogs (Gage and Lucy), cat (June), horses (Melvin and
Shiloh), mule (Sophie) and a gaggle of chickens," said Rogers,
who is the women's college beach volleyball coach at nearby San
Luis Obispo and a founding director of Beach Nation.
Prior to finishing his career on the sand in 2016, Rogers was
named in February to head the California Polytechnic San Luis
Obispo collegiate programme where he has compiled an 82-56
record, including a 59-21 record since 2018 featuring a
conference championship and collegiate post-season berth.
Two of Rogers’ Cal Poly players captured an FIVB Beach
Volleyball World Tour event together in July 2018 in Croatia
when Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden defeated the Makhno twins
(Inna and Iryna) of the Ukraine in the Porec finale. A week
later, Sonny and Van Winden captured the bronze medal at the
World University Games in Munich, Germany.
Nicknamed "The Professor" by pro beach announcer Chris "Geeter"
McGee, Rogers also helped build Cal Poly's state-of-the-art
Beach Volleyball Complex that features five courts, seating for
up to 250 spectators and an LED video scoreboard.
Rogers founded the Beach Nation project with Patty Dodd, Bob
Bertucci and Mark Fishman to create and maximize educational
opportunities for beach volleyball coaches and players of all
ages and abilities. Beach Nation is also associated with the
Junior Volleyball Association, the American Volleyball Coaches
Association and the Beach Volleyball Clubs of America.
With his last competitive match at a domestic event in mid-July
2016 at the iconic Manhattan Beach Open where he and Stafford
Slick placed seventh, Rogers' final FIVB event was two months
earlier at a United States World Tour event in Cincinnati where
he and Robbie Page placed 25th.
“Everyone wants to be a professional athlete and I got my
opportunity on the beach," said Rogers, who played 22 seasons on
domestic and international tours with 349 events played
highlighted by 80 overall titles, 149 top three finishes and
more than $2-million in earnings.
Rogers competed in 124 World tour events with 24 gold medals, 42
podium placements, 51 final four finishes and 60 quarterfinal
appearances. Rogers, the FIVB’s top defender (2006-2008), best
setter (2005) and most inspirational player (2008), won 459 of
663 (69.2%) FIVB matches.
Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, who rank second all-time among World
Tour men’s teams in gold medals (23), medals (40) and final
fours (44) to the legendary Brazilian pair of Emanuel Rego and
Ricardo Santos (33, 58, 66), are the only American men’s team to
win both Olympic (Beijing 2008) and world (Gstaad 2007) titles.
The pair posted a 310-70 (81.6%) World tour match mark
In all the years of competition, Rogers played only one match on
his birthday in 2007 when he and Dalhausser dropped a gold medal
match to Emanuel and Ricardo in Fortaleza, Brazil. Overall, the
two teams met 11 times with Emanuel and Ricardo winning seven
Although Rogers said he “honestly doesn’t remember that match,”
he said that he and Ricardo “would beat Emanuel and Phil if we
ever met in an exhibition match. I always feel that I can win a
As for playing with other international players, Rogers cited
Germany’s Jonas Reckermann and Brazilian Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira
“along with those young blockers from Germany (Julius Thole),
Norway (Anders Mol) and Russia (Oleg Stoyanovskiy).
Rogers, who also lists domestic titles in Manhattan Beach
(2006-2008) and Santa Barbara (2006, 2008 and 2010) as memorable
moments along with the Olympic and World Championship gold
medals, would like to see an international version of events
like the collegiate women’s format in the United States.
“It would really be a lot of fun,” said Rogers. “You could
represent not only countries but cities and allow for true
leagues like in volleyball, football, basketball, etc. Someone
is going to try it sooner than later in my opinion.”
As for the deciding match in a best of five format featuring two
men’s and two women’s teams, Rogers says the deciding contest
“could have a team of a woman and man vs. another team of a
woman and man. I'm sure there have been attempts at it in
Europe and I know I played in some stuff versus Brasil with a 4
vs 4 format as the deciding fifth game. Like I said, I think it
will be done at some point in time and promoters will play with