Rolf Engen's early career began at the Santa Ana YMCA in 1947. Afterwards, he became an All-Army setter while at Fort Louis, Wash.
While at UCLA in the early 1950s, as an undergraduate, he participated on two National Collegiate Championship teams and was selected a first-team NCAA All-American twice.
After leaving college, Engen played on the Hollywood YMCA team where he was an eight-time USVBA National Open Champion, an All-American 10 times. He was the USVBA's Most Valuable Player in 1960.
Rolf also played on the United States National Team, which won the gold medal at the Pan-Am games in 1959, as well as the World Games in 1960. He continued his winning ways by capturing the National Open Gold in 1964 and was awarded the USVBA's All-Time Great Player Award in 1968.
Rolf later switched to coaching. He started the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club and led their junior boys' teams to three gold and two silver medals at the Junior Olympics from 1975 to 1979. During that time, Rolf also coached the Laguna Beach High School boys' team to two state championships.
In 1981, Rolf was named the Commissioner of Volleyball for the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.