U of Tampa Adding Beach Volleyball as a Varsity Sport
By JOHN GREGG, Correspondent, TB Reporter
The Spartans will start playing in Spring 2018.
TAMPA — The University of Tampa, which has one of the best Division II women’s indoor volleyball program’s in the country, is adding beach volleyball as a varsity sport and will begin play in the spring of 2018.
The program will be coached by Jeff Lamm, who has for the past 15 seasons served as assistant coach for the indoor team. Tampa will join Eckerd College and Florida Southern, who announced new programs in January, as the only three Sunshine State Conference schools to offer beach volleyball.
Lamm was the 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association of America (AVCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 and has been a part of 14 Sunshine State Conference (SSC) championships, 11 NCAA Elite Eight teams and national championships in 2006 and 2014 while on staff with the indoor team. “It is my goal to build the beach program into another nationally competitive program here at UT,” Lamm said in a university press release. “I’m eager to return to beach volleyball, which is where I started my volleyball career back in 1992.”
University of Tampa Director of Athletics Larry Marfise said beach volleyball will provide additional opportunities for student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics.
“This will also provide leadership opportunities for more individuals, continuing the tradition of producing well-rounded graduates who continue to represent the University in their respective careers,” said Marifise.
According to the NCAA website, beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport and the sport crowned it’s first Division I champion, the USC Trojans, last spring. Other Florida schools with beach volleyball programs are possible opponents for the Spartans, among them Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, Florida State, Jacksonville, Stetson and North Florida. The beach volleyball team will play it’s matches at the new Fitness and Recreation Center on campus and will feature 15 to 20 student athletes.
Veteran coach Jeff Lamm will lead the new team.
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