(CLEVELAND)– Truett McConnell University Athletics announced the addition of men’s volleyball, the department’s 17th athletic program, which will begin in the fall of 2020. Current TMU women’s volleyball head coach, Mark Corbin, will lead the Bears and all men’s volleyball events will take place inside the Bear Cave Gymnasium during their spring seasons.
“When looking for what direction we needed to grow our athletic program we determined that men’s volleyball was the perfect next step for us,” Athletic Director Jenni Shepard said. “With the addition of the Benjamin F. Brady Arena inside the George Blaurock Student Wellness Center, both of our basketball teams made the transition last season to playing in a new venue and we were also able to bring our men’s wrestling program on campus and join women’s volleyball in calling the TMU Bear Cave home.
This left an additional locker room vacant with practice times also now available within the Bear Cave Gymnasium. After the hire of our new volleyball coach Mark Corbin, who played collegiately, it was a no brainer that this is the direction we wanted to take. The sport of volleyball has grown tremendously over the past decade and adding a men’s team will allow us to continue to contribute to the growth of this wonderful sport. Over 40 institutions sponsored men’s volleyball throughout the NAIA last year and this number will continue to grow.
As the Appalachian Athletic Conference, the association we are affiliated with in our other sports, does not currently sponsor men’s volleyball, our plan is to apply as an affiliate member of another conference so we can immediately compete for conference championships until the AAC sponsors the sport of men’s volleyball. We did the same thing when we started our wrestling program, as this allows for instant competition for conference championships.”
Interested student-athletes should contact Coach Rosser Roberts, the men’s volleyball recruiting coordinator, at [email protected] or 770-714-3913. He will be handling all recruiting efforts under Coach Corbin.
“This new athletic team will join the current focus of all of our athletic programs, to honor God in all we do and creating a great experience for our student-athletes while pursing excellence in discipleship, academics, servant leadership, and athletic performance,” Shepard said. “We are excited to welcome these new student-athletes to our campus next fall and look forward to seeing this new program come to fruition.”