BOISE — Sand volleyball is the third women's program added at Boise State in the past eight years, joining swimming and diving (2006) and softball (2007).
Shawn Garus, the head coach for the volleyball (indoor) team, will take on that duty for both programs on a permanent basis. The players are expected to be the same as on the indoor team.
We feel the addition of sand volleyball will help give our current volleyball team a competitive edge as we continue to grow the program, Athletic Director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "I'm excited about the direction coach Garus has our program headed, and look forward to what I feel will be an exciting addition to Bronco athletics."
Coyle said the decision was not based on Title IX compliance, but was instead a "competitive decision." He said Garus, who has a background in sand volleyball, was being asked about sand volleyball and Boise State's plans for it on the recruiting trail.
Boise State is the 38th NCAA program to sponsor sand volleyball and the seventh to announce it will begin in 2014. Arizona, Arizona State, Cal Poly, UC Irvine, LSU and South Carolina wil play in 2014. Boise State is the first Mountain West school to add sand volleyball. Other schools in the region and conference reportedly exploring the addition of sand volleyball, according to Boise State: San Jose State, Air Force, Colorado State, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Washington State.
Sand volleyball is played with two players on each side. College matches consist of five games. The team can have three scholarships, Coyle said. It will play home games on courts that are being constructed as part of the football practice field complex. Coyle said the Broncos would not play any home matches in 2014.
The Boise State Board of Trustees gave its approval to add the sport at its last board meeting in Pocatello, the school said. The item is not on the State Board of Education agenda.
Boise State now sponsors 20 intercollegiate teams: 12 on the womens side (basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball and sand volleyball) and eight for men (basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and wrestling).
Here is a story about the growing popularity of the sport.