Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Todd Rogers is joining the Cal Poly athletic staff.

The Santa Ynez resident has been hired as an assistant coach of the Mustangs’ beach volleyball team, according to a university press release sent out Tuesday.

"I'm really happy to be a part of Cal Poly Athletics and a volleyball program that's on the upswing," said Rogers. "I'm looking forward to challenging for a national title in a few years and what we're able to build from day one."

The beach volleyball program – in only its third year of existence – has recently helped form the newest Big West Conference sport and joins CSUN, Hawai'i, Long Beach State, Sacramento State and CSU Bakersfield as part of the six-team conference.

Rogers, the 1997 AVP Rookie of the Year, captured a gold medal in beach volleyball at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He was named the AVP's Most Valuable Player in 2007 and Best Defensive Player for five consecutive seasons from 2004-08.

"We're extremely excited about the hiring of Todd Rogers," head coach Sam Crosson said. "He's one of the most successful players in the history of beach volleyball and his knowledge, experience and understanding will have a significant impact on our beach program."

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In addition to Rogers' aforementioned accomplishments, he also earned the AVP's Most Valuable Player in 2006 and alongside his playing partner, Phil Dalhausser, was named the AVP Team of the Year in both 2007 and 2008.

Rogers attended San Marcos High School from 1987-1991 and UCSB from 1993 through 1996.

Cal Poly Athletic Director Don Oberhelman expressed his excitement about Rogers' recent hire and the impact it will have on the beach volleyball program.

"The Cal Poly Beach Volleyball program is bringing on board one of the most recognized names in the history of beach volleyball," Oberhelman said. "It's our intention to be one of the premier beach programs in the nation and Todd will help us achieve this goal."

Rogers' first stint in collegiate coaching was as an assistant for the UCSB men's indoor volleyball program from 2000-05, during which time the Gauchos won over 50 matches.

Cal Poly opens the 2016 season at Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Ariz. on Thursday, March 3.

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