Bethel Athletics Announces Addition of Men’s Volleyball
MISHAWAKA – Bethel Athletic Director Tony Natali is pleased to announce the addition of Varsity Men’s Volleyball to Pilot athletic programs at Bethel University. Recruitment of a team will begin in Fall 2021 for intercollegiate competition in Fall 2022.
“I’m very excited to add Men’s Volleyball to the growing number of sports at Bethel University,” said Natali. “Men’s Volleyball is a growing sport and brings a lot of energy with it. Our students will really enjoy watching. It will be exciting to see the development of this sport in the coming years.”
The addition of Men’s Volleyball will bring Bethel’s total to 25 varsity programs and 31 total intercollegiate teams. The Pilots most recently added Esports in Fall 2019, and Men’s and Women’s Bowling, as well as Men’s and Women’s Swimming, in Fall 2018.
“With the opening of the new Lehman Family Training Center, Bethel now has the capacity to add Men’s Volleyball,” says Vice President for Student Development Shawn Holtgren, Ph.D., who oversees athletic programs on campus. “We are grateful to the many donors and friends who made this space possible, and in turn, made this new program possible.”
The addition of athletic programs and facilities is part of Bethel’s five-year campaign known as GROW, a proactive, data-based approach that opens doors for prospective students. The “G” in GROW stands for “Game On!” with the goal of providing programs and space for 200 new student-athletes.
Bethel will compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which offers Men’s Volleyball as an official Championship Sport in the spring season, as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) as an Invitational Sport in the winter season.
Men’s Volleyball began in the NAIA as an Emerging Sport in 1998-99 and upgraded to an official Championship Sport in the NAIA for the 2018-19 season. It is in its third season in its current capacity. At the NCCAA level, there are 13 schools across the nation currently sponsoring the sport at the varsity level.
The Pilots will join Goshen College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University as the only current Crossroads League schools to sponsor Men’s Volleyball. Bethel Athletics will begin a national search for a head coach immediately. Student-athletes interested in competing in Men’s Volleyball at Bethel can complete and submit a prospective student-athlete questionnaire.