There will be a new NCAA Division I men’s volleyball team for the first time in almost 20 years thanks in part to the MotorMVB Foundation.
St. Francis Brooklyn announced Wednesday that it will add men’s volleyball as a varsity sport after receiving a $100,000 grant from the non-profit organization.
“Providing an opportunity for competitive NCAA Division I volleyball right here in New York City is something we are very excited about,” athletics director Irma Garcia said in a statement. “The support from the St. Francis College Administration to add this program shows our commitment to our student-athletes and the growth of collegiate men’s volleyball.”
St. Francis Brooklyn is a private college located in Brooklyn Heights and has an enrollment of 2,642 students. Men’s volleyball will become the school’s 20th NCAA Division I team.
The Terriers are members of the Northeast Conference for all other varsity sports. While the NEC does not sponsor men’s volleyball, St. Francis (Pennsylvania) and Sacred Heart are schools in the conference that sponsor men’s volleyball teams.
Sacred Heart was one of the last NCAA Division I schools to add men’s volleyball in 2001.
NCAA Division I and Division II schools compete for the same national championships in men’s volleyball. Despite limited growth at the Division I level, numerous Division II colleges have added men’s volleyball in the last 20 years.
St. Francis Brooklyn received one of the largest grants in MotorMVB history to start a men’s volleyball program.
MotorMVB was established in 2016 with the goal of growing boys’ and men’s volleyball throughout the United States. The organization through philanthropic giving is attempting to increase the number of U.S. collegiate men’s volleyball programs to 380 teams by 2027.
The $100,000 grant will be spread out during a four-year period.
“Thanks to the generosity of passionate volleyball donors, we are pleased to provide support to St. Francis College. The leadership at SFC has really impressed us and we are convinced that Irma and coach [Andy] Mueller will guide a thriving men’s volleyball program for many years to come,” MotorMVB CEO Wade Garard said in a statement. “Our foundation board chairman John Speraw always says there is nothing more important than providing opportunities for young people. We are pleased to be able to help do this for boys who will now be able to come to Brooklyn for college and enjoy a meaningful volleyball student-athlete experience.”
Along with starting the new program, St. Francis Brooklyn announced Wednesday that Andy Mueller will be its inaugural men’s volleyball head coach.
Mueller has spent the last two seasons as a St. Francis Brooklyn women’s volleyball assistant coach and was the team’s recruiting coordinator. He also has almost a decade of college women’s volleyball coaching experience, including stints at Fordham and Columbia.