Ricky Baptist, Director of Sports Information
BABSON PARK, Fla. – Webber International University athletics and Head Men’s Volleyball Coach Carlos Jimenez are happy to announce the addition of men’s beach volleyball as the school’s newest athletic program beginning in the Fall of 2020.
“We are really excited to be one of the first NAIA schools in the country to sponsor men’s beach volleyball,” said Darren Richie, current Director of Athletics at Webber. “We believe that launching this program continues to demonstrate Webber’s commitment to our both our current student-athletes, and to bringing in future Warriors. Beach volleyball is a great sport, and we are proud to be on the forefront of bringing it to the collegiate environment and developing a winning tradition on the men’s side like we have for the women.”
The Webber International University volleyball program will be working in conjunction with USA Beach Volleyball, The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the EVP Pro Beach Tour to both promote the men’s beach volleyball program at Webber, and to help grow the sport within collegiate athletics. Webber would also like to expend a special thank you to Mr. Steve Bishop and the Florida Region of USA Volleyball for their continued support in growing men’s beach volleyball at the collegiate level.
USA Volleyball’s Beach High Performance Manager Carolina Garbato said, “USA Volleyball is very excited about the addition of men’s beach volleyball at Webber International University. This addition is the beginning of something great, which will provide further opportunities for men’s beach volleyball athletes.”
“The AVCA is excited to celebrate and support Webber International’s newly added men’s beach volleyball program,” said AVCA’s Director of Men and Boys’ Volleyball Brad Wilson. “Given the incredible growth of men and boys’ indoor volleyball over the past decade, we expect men’s collegiate beach to be a significant growth opportunity as well.”
“I am excited to see the start of beach volleyball on college campuses across the USA,” said EVP Pro Beach Tour President Ross Balling. “Students, fans and industry partners should all be proud of the progress that women’s beach volleyball has made over the past ten years on University culture. With current demands for men’s collegiate beach volleyball programs, EVP Tour is seeing a bright future for the sport. Congratulations to Webber International University for their perseverance in bringing more student-athletes to the game of beach volleyball.”
Webber’s current Head Men’s Volleyball Coach Carlos Jimenez said, “Having seen the rise of beach volleyball as both a player and as a director, it is an honor to be part of the team of people that have made this program a reality for Webber and for the many future Warriors that will be joining us in the sand. From the initial drive from Coach Gretchen Hand to the receptiveness of our Athletic Director, Coach Darren Richie, and the administration in helping to establish the program, the university has shown the vision and decisiveness that is needed in creating new opportunities in the sport during these uncertain times. Beach volleyball has been emerging with great results on the women’s side, and we want to give that opportunity to showcase the men at the collegiate level and create more paths for participation in the sport. We also want to thank our partners in this collaboration, USA Volleyball, AVCA and the EVP Tour for helping to promote and grow the sport at the collegiate level. Webber is currently still accepting players for the inaugural season and is looking forward to attracting talented student-athletes that will join in the competitive tradition of Webber Athletics.”
“Starting the new men’s beach program was a collaborative effort with the Florida Region that mirrored the implementation of women’s beach at the collegiate level,” said Webber’s Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Gretchen Hand. “Coach Carlos Jimenez and I are very excited to develop men’s collegiate beach and provide the opportunity to grow our sport.”
For more information or if you are interested in playing men’s beach volleyball at Webber, please contact Coach Carlos Jimenez at 863-638-2957 (JimenezCE@webber.edu).