Westcliff University in Irvine, California – a school best-known for its online and distance education courses – has announced that it will start a men’s beach volleyball program.
They are not the first American university to launch a men’s varsity beach program – Webber International had one in 2013 – but they are the only varsity men’s beach team at an American college that we could find, though Westcliff’s release indicates that the team will be playing other collegiate men’s beach teams (possibly club teams).
The university, which focuses on courses in fields of business and education, announced in April that it would add a men’s indoor, women’s indoor, and women’s beach volleyball team in the 2018-2019 season. The beach team will start its first season in the fall of 2018 and compete again in April after the indoor season is done.
Bulgarian Danko Iordanov will be the head coach of both the indoor and beach teams – he’s been a regular at AVP events for 15 years. He played collegiately indoor at Rutgers, where in 2003 he was named Male Athlete of the Year.
Over the last 7 years, he’s worked with players at RPM Sand in Arizona and Sandstorm VBC.
A release from the school says besides other collegiate beach volleyball teams, they will also play in the NCSVA, a new collegiate beach volleyball league, in the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship as well. The team also plans to enter pairs in non-collegiate competitions, including AVP-Next events.
The school now offers 4 men’s and 4 women’s sports, including beach volleyball, track & field, indoor volleyball, and basketball for each gender.
Iordanov’s wife, Kristen Iordanova, is the head coach for the women’s programs.
The school’s athletics program is not formally affiliated with any major NCAA or NAIA, though in basketball they have formed a conference with other local independent schools to form what is called the Pacific 6 Conference.