Larry Rogers, Head Coach of Bellarmine Prep Dynasty, Dies

Larry Rogers, the former head coach of the boys’ swimming & diving and water polo dynasties at Bellarmine Prep in California, has died.

Rogers’ run at Bellarmine Prep gets him a seat at the table of the most accomplished high school coaches in any sport, ever. In swimming & diving, he led the school to 34 total California Central Coast Section championships, including 31 consecutive titles. That streak was broken in 2016, but the team landed back on top in 2017, sending Rogers into retirement with a title.

2016 was one of only two seasons in Rogers’ 36-year run at the school where they didn’t win the CCS title.

He spent 48 years as a coach in total.

Rogers also led the school to 25 CCS water polo titles, stepping down from that position after the 2012 season.

Rogers is a member of a number of halls of fame, including the California Coaches Awards Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was named the National High School Coaches Association’s Boys’ Swimming Coach of the Year.

Among many well-known swimming alumni of the program are 2012 US Olympian Scott Weltz, U.S. National Team captain Greg Schaffer, and Stanford All-American and team captain Rob Canales.

Tony Barnes, a 3-time NCAA Champion water polo player and member of the gold medal-winning 1993 World University Games team, and Cal standout Will Quist excelled at Bellarmine Prep in both sports.

Mark Taliaferro, who took over the swimming & diving program after Rogers’ retirement, was also a CCS champion for the Bells as a student.

“Larry’s passing has been a shock to the Bellarmine family,” Taliaferro said of the news. “For many of us, he was a motivation to strive for something larger than ourselves. His tough love style galvanized many teams to want to achieve greatness  He taught discipline and accountability to decades of young men who came to respect the standards that he set for the team: I think most of us thought that he was impossible to please when he coached us, but when we were able to create a new relationship with Larry after high school, it showed a man who was always in our corner. His support and encouragement inspire me to become a teacher and coach and give back to a sport that gave me so much. Larry was one of a kind and he will be greatly missed. His legacy will live on through the thousands of young men he coached and mentored.”

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Mark Taliaferro
5 months ago

Larry is a legend. RIP Coach. Go Bells!!!

Tony Batis
5 months ago

I believe Pablo Morales swam at Bellarmine for Larry as well.

5 months ago

BCP came in force every year at CCS. Incredible to see the depth and strength of that program during my prep career. The results speak for themselves. RIP to a bay-area coaching legend.

Lisa Schaffer
5 months ago

Devastating news. An absolute legend who coached many Mythical National Championship teams and swimmers, and was so formative in the careers of many current coaches, including Luis Nicolao, water polo head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Pablo Morales, who did such a great job with the Univ. of Nebraska team this year. But most importantly, he improved the lives of so many fantastic young men that are community leaders in their own local, non-athletic lives. Larry will be missed. He truly was “a man for others”. Rest in peace. You deserve it,

5 months ago

Larry had a HUGE impact on every aspect of my life. I will miss him and those glorious calves.

Felipe Rivera
5 months ago

Also coached *Pablo Morales, multi CCS/NCAA/Olympic Champion/Medalist including Gold. RIP Coach. 🙏

Ro Davis
5 months ago

Yes, Pablo Morales, Geoff Cronin, Greg Schaefer…the list of great Bellarmine aquatic alums is too long to include in any posting here…the old anecdote from opposing HS coaches in the area after each CCS meet won by the Bells: Larry doesn’t need to rebuild for next year, he just needs to reload! The Bells always had great underclassmen waiting in the wings and they always attracted great incoming freshmen because everyone knew Larry would lead them to a team championship! Sail on Larry!

5 months ago

Larry accomplished more than anyone I know. He was such a selfless man, never bragging, always keeping it about the kids. After BCP Polo Larry continued to support me with life struggles. I managed to give him a bear hug at a swim meet several years ago and told him how grateful I am. By now I’m sure Larry and Ron Freeman are telling stories of the glory days in heaven. Sending my love to the Rogers family. You will always be in my heart.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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