WILBERFORCE — Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Director of Athletics Tara A. Owens announced that CSU will add men’s volleyball as one of its NCAA Division II-sponsored sports beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
The addition of men’s volleyball was announced at a press conference Sept. 3 on the CSU campus along with the news that CSU was one of six Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools to receive a $150,000 gift from First Point Volleyball Foundation (FPVF) and USA Volleyball to support the new program.
“It continues to be important for us as an institution to step forward and provide opportunities for a diverse group of students,” said Jackson-Hammond. “With all the schools that have added men’s volleyball in Ohio and around the country, plus in our own league it made sense for us to commit to providing these opportunities. We are thankful for the support of First Point Volleyball and USA Volleyball as we embark on this new path.”
Anthony Holloman, Chairman of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Committee on Men’s Volleyball said six colleges from the SIAC will be adding the sport. According to the SIAC, the six schools that will form the SIAC league in 2021 are: Central State; Benedict College; Fort Valley State University; Kentucky State University; Morehouse College; and Paine College.
Wade Garard, CEO of First Point Volleyball Foundation said a total investment of $1 million is being made ($600,000 from First Point Volleyball Foundation and $400,000 from USA Volleyball) to support the six colleges and the league in starting the sport.
“We are so pleased to make a gift to Central State University. President Jackson-Hammond and Director of Athletics Tara Owens are committed to providing more opportunities for young people to mature and develop through athletics,” said Garard. “That is the kind of mission we are proud to support. We have volleyball donors from all over the country that are making this grant possible.”
Owens acknowledged the support of FPVF and USA Volleyball while also announcing that a national search will begin immediately for a new head coach.
Speraw, head coach of the USA Men’s National team and UCLA’s head coach, echoed his support of CSU’s vision.
“We all want more opportunities for young people in this country to compete in collegiate athletics,” said Speraw. “When we founded First Point Volleyball Foundation we envisioned supporting growth in NCAA Division II. CSU leadership has been terrific in committing to exploring this opportunity. It is exciting for us to see men’s volleyball becoming a reality at Central State University.”
Men’s volleyball will be the eleventh sport offered at Central State University. CSU currently fields teams in women’s volleyball, football, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s indoor track & field, men’s indoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field and men’s outdoor track & field.