Bryan College will bring men’s volleyball back as a club sport this fall after a 20-year absence, this time with its own coach.
Alison Williams Alison Williams, now assistant coach for the women’s volleyball intercollegiate team, will coach the men’s club team. Before graduating in 2011, Coach Williams was a captain of the Bryan team and earned Appalachian Athletic Conference honors as a member of the All-Conference First Team and All-Tournament Team and was named an NCCAA honorable mention All-American.
“Volleyball is a growing sport in the Southeast, but there are not a lot of opportunities in this area for men to play volleyball at the collegiate level,” Coach Williams said. “This will give players a chance to play close to home.”
For much of the past year, she has been developing a plan to implement the club sport. In addition to convincing the administration to take this step, her efforts will serve as a template for future additions to the club sport lineup, Vice President for Enrollment Management Michael Sapienza said.
She already has been recruiting and hopes to have between 12 and 15 players for the team for the fall. Scholarship assistance will be available for players.
In addition to recruiting, Coach Williams is working on scheduling matches for the men’s season, which will fall in the spring 2014 semester. Among potential opponents are Milligan College, which also will start a club team in the fall; Emmanuel College, King College, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Middle Tennessee State University.
Resurrection of the men’s program brings back fond memories for Bryan Vice President for Operations Tim Hostetler. “In 1980, there was a bunch of missionary kids here who liked to play volleyball,” he recalled. “We set up a team in the spring of 1981, my freshman year, and played in the SEC Invitational Tournament.”
In 1992, when he was working in the financial aid office, he was approached by another group of MKs and was asked to coach their club team. A highlight of that experience was a home match with the University of Tennessee club squad. “UT came here and we lost by one point in the fifth match,” he said.
“Men’s volleyball was very well received. The home games were well-attended.”