SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, VA -- Richard Bland College of William & Mary Director of Athletics Scott Newton announced the addition of men’s volleyball as the College's 8th NJCAA Division intercollegiate sport on Wednesday morning. The addition of men’s volleyball was made possible by a $10,000 grant by the NJCAA Foundation and First Point Volleyball Foundation.
"The addition of men’s volleyball falls in line with the College's goal of creating a positive student experience," said Scott Newton, Director of Student Life and Athletics and Head Volleyball Coach. “The Athletics Department is excited about adding exceptional student-athletes to campus and welcomes the leadership attributes these student-athletes possess. We are thankful for the NJCAA Foundation and the First Point Volleyball Foundation for providing the College to push full steam ahead in starting a men’s volleyball program.”
First Point Volleyball Foundation is taking men's volleyball participation to unprecedented heights, creating opportunities for young men to develop as players and people.
"As one of 19 First Point Foundation board members, I can say we are so proud to be able to support the NJCAA and these 15 institutions starting men's volleyball," said Mick Haley, First Point Volleyball Foundation volunteer board member and AVCA Hall of Famer. A former men’s volleyball coach at Kellogg Community College (MI), Haley led the program to four NJCAA national championships, back when the sport was sponsored, before stints as head women's coach at the University of Texas, University of Southern California, and the 2000 US Women's Olympic Team in Sydney. "Two-year colleges present the most affordable opportunity for young people to play college volleyball during a time when students want to stay closer to home,” Haley continued. “Our hope at First Point is to see 35 or 40 more two-year colleges follow these 15 and sponsor men's volleyball."
The addition of men’s volleyball at Richard Bland College comes at a time when the sport is growing at the high school and collegiate levels with dozens of programs being added each year and the percentage of new players growing from 10 to 15 percent each year.
"Since intercollegiate athletics returned to Richard Bland in 2013, the College's athletics teams have won national and regional championships, bringing great energy and pride to our campus community," said Richard Bland President Debbie Sydow. "The institution is now poised to add men's volleyball, which provides additional opportunities for talented student-athletes to attend and excel at RBC."
The Statesmen will begin fielding teams and competing in the spring of 2023 as a member of the NJCAA Region X Conference.
“The ability to create more opportunities for student-athletes to compete in college and take part in a growing sport is one of the ultimate wins the NJCAA Foundation can achieve,” said Brian Luckett, NJCAA Foundation Executive Director. “We are appreciative of First Point Volleyball Foundation for making this possible and the NJCAA member colleges who have stepped up to make history by bringing back men’s volleyball to the association.”
Richard Bland now sponsors eight NJCAA programs, including baseball, men's soccer, women’s soccer, women's volleyball, women’s beach volleyball, men's basketball, and softball.
"As we work to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games, all of us at USA Volleyball are excited by this awesome news of 15 newly announced men's collegiate volleyball programs at two-year colleges," stated John Speraw, First Point Volleyball Foundation Founder and volunteer Chairman and head coach of the US Men's National Team and UCLA Men's Volleyball. "I suspect it won't be long before an NJCAA athlete will play for Team USA,” Speraw added. “I want to personally thank all the donors to First Point Volleyball Foundation, past, and future, for making these grants possible."
For more information and for interested student-athletes, please contact Scott Newton at firstname.lastname@example.org.