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.”