Extending Our Reach – Initiative to Increase Diversity
In 2017, the Board of Directors of First Point Volleyball Foundation decided that increasing diversity in boys’ and men’s volleyball was one of the Foundation’s strategic initiatives.
Over the past two years, First Point Volleyball Foundation’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Kenny Rogers has convened groups of volleyball experts in Chicago, Colorado Springs and Los Angeles, to discuss obstacles and constraints that are preventing more boys of color from playing competitive volleyball. These summit participants have also been asked to brainstorm potential recommendations for growing the game among boys and men of color. The Report and Recommendations resulting from these meetings can be downloaded here.
McQella Adams coaches at The Colorado Springs School. She is a former volleyball player at Colorado College who works for the U.S. Olympic Committee on athletic safety. She previously worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
Chris Austin is a volleyball player, coach and author. He has been an NCAA Champion as a player and National Champion as a Coach. Chris was the setter for U.C. Irvine’s 2012 and 2013 National Championship teams under coach John Speraw, and has played professionally indoors and on the beach. Chris has coached high school and club and he won a national championship as a club coach in 2017.
Daniel Becker is a coordinator of coaching education at USA Volleyball and a director at Team CO Volleyball Club.
Matt Burrell is Founder and Executive Director of Elevation, VBC.
Antoinette Cass is a volleyball parent who has two children – one girl and one boy – who play club volleyball and want to continue playing volleyball in college Antoinette is an elementary school principal in Los Angeles.
Sharon Clark is the Head Coach for Butler University’s Women’s Volleyball Team, and Chair of the AVCA Diversity Development Committee. She is the mother of a rising high school senior who plays boys club volleyball in Indiana and aspires to play men’s volleyball in college.
Sid Davidson is the Head Coach of El Modena High School Boys Volleyball team in Orange, California. Sid is a former club volleyball director and coach, and an AVCA Diversity Development Committee award winner.
Mike DeJager is Coach at SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Miguel De La Rosa is a lawyer, Head Coach of the University of Chicago Men’s Volleyball team, and a coach at Sky High Club and High Performance in Chicago.
Ray Gooden is the Head Coach for Northern Illinois University’s Women’s Volleyball Team and a member of the AVCA Diversity Development Committee. Ray played volleyball at Ohio State and frequently announces games for USA volleyball.
Jamion Hartley is a former player at Ball State and on the Jamaican National Team.
Trevon Jackson is a recent high school graduate and has been a club and high school player in Chicagoland.
Wendy Jones is a former collegiate volleyball player and current volleyball mom. She has four children, three of whom play volleyball.v
John Kessel is Director of Sport Development for USA Volleyball. He has been working to grow the game of volleyball at all levels for decades and is an internationally renowned former volleyball player, coach, and coaches’ instructor. He is also a volleyball father.
Djamal Lylecyrus: Djamal will be a high school senior in the 2018/219 academic year. He plays volleyball for the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (his high school team) and West Volleyball Club.
Tod Mattox is Executive Director of Starlings Volleyball, a non-profit organization that has been promoting diversity in girls volleyball for many years. Tod is a former collegiate player and high school and club coach.
Mark Nixon is a corporate executive who played volleyball growing up in the U.S. Virgin Islands and then at Princeton University.
Kim Oden was captain of the U.S. Women’s Olympic team in both 1988 and 1992 and won a bronze medal in 1992. She was a three time All-American at Stanford and two time NCAA player of the year. After her playing career, Kim coached volleyball at the high school and collegiate levels.
Scott Peluso is Boys Director at Elevation Volleyball Club in Colorado.
Mike Pusinowski is President of the Colorado Boys High School Volleyball Association and the Athletic Director and Head Coach at James Irwin High School.
Mark Tippett is Head Coach of the Lincoln College Men’s Club Volleyball Team in Lincoln, Illinois.
Ray Vance is Head Coach of the Bluefield College Men’s Volleyball Team, a Division III program in Bluefield, Virginia.
Kennedy Wells is Director of Membership, Research and Board Relations for the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
Mary Whitman is a Parent Advocate and volleyball mom and a director of the Colorado Boys High School Volleyball Association.
Bradley Wilson is Manager of Awards and serves as the boys’ and men’s liaison for the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
Ed Wrather is the founder of Vortex Volleyball Club in Glenview, Illinois. Ed started playing volleyball while he was in the military where he played on the U.S. Army team.
Larry Wrather is a former Ball State player, club coach in the Chicago area, and active competitor in men’s volleyball nationally.
*The majority of Extending our Reach discussion participants (56%) are people of color themselves.
Athlete Spotlight – Jamion Hartley: from Chicago, to Ball State, to professional volleyball to Corporate America.
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