Central State University launching men’s volleyball program

Central State University will launch a men’s volleyball program thanks to a $1 million donation to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), the league of primarily Historic Black Colleges & Universities of which CSU is a member.

The donation to the conference – which included $600,000 from the First Point Volleyball Foundation, which nurtures the development of the sport among youth teams, high schools and colleges, and $400,000 from USA Volleyball, the national governing body of the sport – will help six SIAC schools add men’s volleyball.

CSU president Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond and Director of Athletics Tara A. Owens made the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a press conference on campus. CSU’s share of the donation was $150,000.

Owens said the school has begun a national search for a head coach for the men’s program.

“First and foremost, we thank the First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball for providing the opportunity and funding for Central State to explore the possibility of adding men’s volleyball,” Owens said. “With the vision and leadership of President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, we continue to find ways to grow this institution. With the increased popularity of men’s volleyball throughout the state of Ohio, we believe we will be a great destination for high school student-athletes to continue to compete as a Central State Marauder.”

CSU will now offer 11 intercollegiate sports, all of which compete at the NCAA Division II level.

As noted at the press conference, the First Point Volleyball Foundation has three strategic initiatives: (1) Growing college opportunities; (2) growing high school boys’ opportunities (3) extending diversity in the sport, specifically providing opportunities for boys and men of color.

In three years the First Point Volleyball Foundation has helped start 17 new collegiate programs.

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