The Cal Poly beach volleyball program may be in only its third year of existence, but it just added an accomplished Olympian to its coaching staff. Todd Rodgers, who won gold in the beach volleyball at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games alongside partner Phil Dalhausser, is coming to San Luis Obispo as an assistant coach.
Rodgers played indoor volleyball collegiately at UC Santa Barbara from 1993-96, and simultaneously started developing his skills in the sand. His first professional tournaments came in 1993 with partner Dax Holdren, even though his status as an amateur prevented him from collecting the prize money.
After graduation Rodgers started his career as a professional on the AVP and FIVB beach volleyball tours. He was named AVP Rookie Of The Year in 1997 and, along with Holdren, went on to collect six combined first-place finishes on the two circuits over the next six seasons. Rodgers also found success with another partner, Sean Scott, whom he partnered with for four AVP Tour victories.
Rodgers rose to prominence when he started to play with Dalhausser in 2006. The duo dominated the AVP Tour, winning over 40 events together from 2006 to 2012. Rodgers and Dalhausser entered the 2008 Beijing Olympics as one of the top teams in the world. After a first-round upset loss to Latvia, the partners came back to eventually win the gold medal match against Brazil in three sets.
Apart from his playing career, Rodgers has also built up a solid coaching resume. He minored in coaching while at UC Santa Barbara and was an assistant there for the indoor men’s volleyball team from 2000 to 2005. Rodgers’ position as assistant coach at Cal Poly will be his first formal spot on a collegiate beach volleyball coaching staff.
The Mustangs are coming off a 2015 season in which they won only one of their 13 team matches. The team is made up of players from the women’s indoor squad and is a member of the Big West Conference. Since it is the conference’s newest sport, Cal Poly only has five other teams to compete against within the Big West.
The Mustangs will play their first match of the year against Grand Canyon University in Phoenix on March 3rd.