Tusculum University to start men’s volleyball program in 2020

Make room for another NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team in Tennessee.

Tusculum University announced Thursday that it would add a men’s volleyball program beginning in the 2020 season.

Tusculum, a private university located in Eastern Tennessee, and is a NCAA Division II member and competes in the South Atlantic Conference. The oldest college in Tennessee also has an enrollment of 885 undergraduate students

Along with men’s volleyball, Tusculum added men’s and women’s bowling for the 2019-20 school year. The Pioneers now have 24 varsity sports, including 10 programs that they have started in the last six years.

“We are extremely excited to announce the addition of bowling and men’s volleyball to our intercollegiate sports lineup,” Doug Jones, vice president for athletics and university initiatives, said in a statement. “Tusculum University continues to grow and the addition of these athletic opportunities will be a plus for the Pioneer student experience.”

The Pioneers will be the third NCAA Division II men’s volleyball program in Tennessee.

King finished last season winning the ConfCarolinas championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. In addition, Lincoln Memorial in its program’s second season won the 2018 IVA Tournament championship.

Cumberland University, which will play host to the 2019 Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge in Lebanon, Tennessee, also will start a NAIA men’s volleyball program in 2019.

Tusculum joins Lincoln Memorial, Coker and Queens as the four school from the Southern Athletic Conference to have men’s volleyball programs. While the Southern Athletic Conference does not currently sponsor men’s volleyball, it is now two more teams away from becoming eligible for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

This is the third school to add a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball program in 2018. Lander University and St. Francis Brooklyn both announced they would start their programs during the 2020 season.