Passages: Larry Rogers, Legendary Bellarmine Prep Swim and Water Polo Coach, 74

Photo Courtesy: Chandler Brandes

Larry Rogers, who spent five decades coaching swimming and water polo at Bellarmine Prep in California, died on March 31. He was 74.

Rogers has won more California Interscholastic Federation titles than any other coach, claiming 57 at Bellarmine from 1982 until he retirement in 2017. He also won water polo championships at Monta Vista High School in 1975 and 1980.

In all, Rogers guided teams to 59 CCS titles, 34 in swimming and 25 in water polo. He led Bellarmine Prep to 32 titles in his last 33 years there.


Larry Rogers

“Legend is thrown around a lot, but he’s a super legend,” Mark Tennis, a California high school sports historian, told The Mercury News. “There are some totals there that are mindblowing — 59 section championships. The second-best is 45 and then it goes to 37. I know he was regarded at Bellarmine for more than all of his numbers. A teacher and a leader of young men is probably the No. 1 thing. But he’d be on their Mt. Rushmore at Bellarmine for anything.”

Rogers was recognized in 2015 as the national boys swimming coach of the year by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA).

Danny Dye, the head swimming coach at Palo Alto High School, coached teams that competed against Bellarmine Prep for years. He forged a friendship with Rogers, regarding him as a mentor who was always willing to share his knowledge and experience with others.

Dye penned a poignant remembrance of Rogers for Palo Alto Online.

“I cried today not just at his passing, but at the moment in time that came to my mind when I found out we had lost him. …

“When people can say that there will never be another one like you, you know you’ve made your mark. Larry, you’ve been someone who did it your way, succeeded, and have an endless number of student/athletes who will remember you for the rest of your life!!”

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Don Davis
2 years ago

Larry became the best.
Just beginning to reunite after playing summers in Visalia and at San Francisco state in 1967. What a change. He had the stuff to be the best.
Don Davis