JP Rodrigues played soccer for Belmont from 2002 to 2005 and is a 2015 inductee to the Belmont Athletic Hall of Fame. During his time as a Bruin, he would earn 2005 Atlantic Sun Conference Defender of the Year honors as well as being named a two-time NSCAA/Adidas All-South Region selection.
After Belmont, Rodrigues embarked on a journey to a distinguished professional and international career after his time at Belmont. As the first overall pick of Miami FC in 2006 USL Draft, he would play four seasons in South Beach before earning an assignment to D.C. United of MLS. From there, Rodrigues moved on to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League (NASL).
Rodrigues also earned 23 international caps for the Guyana National Team, taking part in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 2010 and 2014. He officially retired from his professional soccer career in November of 2014.
JP recently spoke with Belmont Athletics about his Belmont soccer career and is current life as a husband and father in his home state of Florida.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I decided to attend Belmont directly after my recruiting trip because I felt its culture and college environment would give me the best opportunity to succeed both on and off the soccer field.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
It’s really hard to pick one, as I shared a lot of great memories with the team during my time playing at Belmont... Being inducted into the Belmont Athletic Hall of Fame is definitely my fondest soccer career moment. Another one is probably be beating Vanderbilt 1-0 for the first time to start the 2005 season. It was the big game that we all were hyped up to play every year! Took 4 years to get that win for me!!!
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont and how?
I would have to say Colette Keyser from the Athletic Department for sure. During my time as a student athlete Colette really helped me juggle life, athletics and academics. She was always on top of me to keep up my grades and was also there to listen and help guide me even with personal decisions that popped up in my life during my years at Belmont. I have stayed in contact with Colette over the years and even turned to her years after I left Belmont to help me with my continued education.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
The most valuable thing I think I gained during my time at Belmont would have to be the relationships and lifelong friendships I was able to make during my time at the University. A lot of people I met while at Belmont are lifelong friends and have played a big part in what I consider my life’s successes.
What advice would you give to current members of the soccer team?
My advice would be “Don’t ever sell yourself short on or off the field. You have control over your future, so set your goals high and don’t stop until you reach them!”
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Hands down Jane Finley. She was tough on me and the one professor that I felt really pushed me to set higher standards for myself outside of soccer. I believe those higher standards she set for me back then are a big reason for my success off the soccer field in my career today.
Where do you live now?
I currently live in Land O' Lakes, Florida.
Who is your employer?
I currently work at Land O' Lakes Marine. My family and I own and manage a boat dealership in Tampa. We specialize in fresh and saltwater boat sales and are also a full service marine service center. My main focus on a day to day basis is on the sales of the new and used boats we carry however being family run we all share the responsibility of running the dealership.
Tell us about your family.
My immediate family consists of my best friend and wife Brittany Rodrigues and our 2 year old son Finn John Rodrigues. Brittany and I have been married for 6 years now and recently found out that we are going to be blessed with another addition to the family. It’s too early to know if it’s going to be a boy or girl yet but we are excited to be adding to our household. Our new little one is set to be here In July!