Women's volleyball coach Trevor Schirman, right, will also coach the new men's volleyball program at Briar Cliff.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Briar Cliff University has announced the addition of men's volleyball as an intercollegiate varsity sport, to begin play during the 2015-16 school year.
Briar Cliff head women's volleyball coach Trevor Schirman will also take the reins of the men's program. Men's volleyball is an emerging sport within the NAIA with over 20 schools currently playing at the varsity level.
“This is a great move for Briar Cliff ... Men's volleyball is on the rise across the nation.”
— Trevor Schirman, head volleyball coach
"This is a great move for Briar Cliff," said Schirman. "Men's volleyball is on the rise in all of the collegiate divisions across the nation. Men's volleyball is a sport that, in this part of the country very few ever get to see, appreciate or enjoy. I know fans from the community and the student body will enjoy the speed and athleticism of the men's game. With the addition of the program, we should be able to continue to broaden the institution's fan base which should benefit the entire athletic department."
"Plans to add a men's volleyball program to the BCU Athletic Department have been evolving over the last several years and they immediately became focused with the hire of Coach Schirman," said Briar Cliff Director of Athletics Steve Gast.
In his first year guiding the Charger women, Schirman, a former member of the United States National Team, led the Chargers to the NAIA National Tournament where, they picked up BCU's first-ever NAIA tournament victory.
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Schirman, a Hawaii native, graduated from Punahou High School, in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1986 and was the No. 1 high school volleyball recruit in the nation. Schirman, who was taught by legendary coach Chris McLachlin at Punahou, went on to play collegiately for Hall of Fame coach Al Scates at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was the national freshman of the year. The three-time first team all-American was named the national player of the year in 1989. He helped the top-ranked Bruins to two national championships and still holds several UCLA and NCAA records. Schirman went on to compete as a member of the USA volleyball team from 1990-1993.
"In one year, Trevor has done a tremendous job creating a great team chemistry within the women's program," Gast said. "We fully anticipate he will do the same with the men's program and that the two programs will eventually help make each other better. I can also foresee that with Trevor's drive and many talents, he could eventually become a force in creating a club system for boys in this part of the country."
Schirman, who has already begun recruiting, will spend the entire 2014-15 academic year recruiting the team which will take the court for the Cliff's inaugural season in the spring of 2016. His plan is to bring in about a dozen players for the first season and to increase that squad size to nearly 18 by year two.
"There are hundreds and hundreds of high school boys volleyball programs throughout the nation with nowhere near enough college programs to accommodate prospective student athletes," Schirman said. "Adding our program will give numerous athletes another next-level opportunity to play for, and obtain their higher education from, an outstanding University."
Helping Schirman to build the program will be his new full-time assistant coach, yet to be hired. Included in that individual's responsibilities will be the running of off-season practices and workouts for both programs.