Rogers, Vom Steeg headline speaking event at Laguna Blanca

UCSB’s men’s soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg will be speaking at Monday’s THINK NOW event at Laguna Blanca School in Hope Ranch. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Laguna Blanca will be hosting Olympic Gold Medalist Todd Rogers and UCSB Men’s Soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg at a special on-campus speaking event this coming Monday at 7 p.m.

The two famous sports figures will be on a panel discussing the importance of youth sports and the risk/reward of following a path towards college athletics.

“I hope to convey a message of honesty and truthfulness in how it is difficult to play college sports,” explained Todd Rogers in an email to Presidio Sports. “The time commitment it takes will almost certainly take away from your academic studies but at the same time you get the benefit of a great support group.”

Rogers went to San Marcos High School before going on to become a two-time All-American volleyball player at UC Santa Barbara. Rogers coached at several local schools before leaving to devote full attention to his professional beach career.

In 2008 Rogers won a gold medal in Beijing. He has won 24 international beach titles and dozens more on the domestic AVP Tour. In 2007, Rogers and partner Phil Dalhausser became the first U.S. pair to win the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship.

“It seems like so many parents are banking on their kids getting an athletic scholarship and are paying a lot of money for their kids to play club sports now in the hope that they will get that scholarship,” Rogers says. “I view it as my kids should be well-rounded athletes and if they are good enough to get an athletic scholarship then great for them. But I won’t sacrifice their growing bodies in order that I don’t have to pay for college for them.”

Vom Steeg played soccer for UCSB and went on to become the Gauchos head coach. His highly decorated career at UCSB includes a national championship and two national Coach of the Year from the NSCCA. Vom Steeg also has two teenage sons playing soccer at a high-level with college in the not-too-distant future.

Also included on the panel will be UCSB men’s assistant water polo coach John Abdou and Westmont assistant basketball coach Meghan Gnekow.

The panel will provide an insider’s look at what it takes for a student-athlete to pursue a college athletic career.

The THINK NOW series is a four-part series. The program is designed to serve members of the community addressing relevant issues to students and parents and how to get the most out of your high school experience.

Monday’s event is open to the whole community attend.