ATLANTA, GA – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) announced today (Sept 3) the addition of men’s volleyball as the league’s 14th-sponsored sport with the support of a $1 million grant from First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball. Men’s volleyball will begin its first year of competition in 2020-21.The $1 million grant is being funded with $600,000 from First Point Volleyball Foundation, a nonprofit started by John Speraw, Head Coach of the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team and UCLA, and $400,000 from USA Volleyball.
Six SIAC member institutions will sponsor NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball and will debut in the spring of 2021. A six-team conference tournament also will take place at a date and site to be determined.
“We are extremely pleased to receive this generous investment from the First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball," said SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore. "I am convinced that the impact of this gift will not only be felt on the campuses of those participating SIAC member colleges and universities, but this gift could also serve as a catalyst for increasing African American participation in men’s volleyball throughout the United States. Moreover, as the one of the most popular sports internationally - particularly in Sub Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, HBCU sponsorship of men’s volleyball will also create international recruitment opportunities for SIAC member institutions. Finally, much credit must be accorded to the Presidents and Athletic Directors of all of the participating SIAC member institutions for collectively working together to embrace this historic opportunity.”
An historic week of institutional announcements began in Frankfort, Kentucky as President Christopher Brown II announced that Kentucky State University will be the first named grant recipient and will be adding men’s volleyball beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. In addition to the Kentucky State announcement, press conferences will take place where new men’s volleyball programs will be announced at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH, Benedict College in Columbia, SC, Paine College in Augusta GA, Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and Fort Valley State University. Kentucky State University, Central State University, Benedict College, Paine College, Morehouse College and Fort Valley State each will be receiving $150,000 from First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball over a three-year period as part of the SIAC grant program.
KSU's announcement was made at a Tuesday morning press conference. CSU's announcement came Tuesday afternoon.
Of note, KSU women's volleyball coach DiShondra Goree was named Thorobred men's volleyball head coach putting her in the unique position as a female head coach of a varsity men's volleyball team. Goree will coach both the men's and women's volleyball programs.
Central State did not announce who will coach their men's volleyball team. Christina Coleman was just hired as women's volleyball coach in June.
Ironically, both Goree and Coleman coached teams at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.