The Trinity International University athletic department has announced the return of men's volleyball as a sponsored varsity sport, beginning during the 2021-2022 athletic season. The Trojans will compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
Men's volleyball will be the ninth sponsored varsity sport at Trinity, and fifth men's sport. TIU sponsored men's volleyball during two previous stints, from 1985-2001, and again during the 2014-2015 season. The Trojans found their greatest success during their first stint, where they finished third at the 1994 NAIA Men's Volleyball Tournament. TIU posted a 24-15-2 record with a conference championship in 1994, and clinched the 2000 NCCAA Invitational Championship, which TIU hosted.
Luke Ward, who has served as the head coach of the TIU women's volleyball program since the fall of 2015, will step into a dual role as head coach of the men's program, as well as the women's.
"I'm honored to have the privilege of starting a men's program at Trinity. The sport of men's volleyball has come a long way over the past few years and I'm humbled by the opportunity to grow the game. I look forward to building up, and mentoring young men through volleyball.
"We're thrilled to have men's volleyball back at Trinity under Coach Luke Ward," TIU Director of Athletics Heather Logue said. "He's an excellent recruiter and knows how to build a program from the ground up and we're excited to have him start this for us again."
Since taking over the TIU women's volleyball program, Ward's teams have gone from just three wins in 2015, to 27 in 2019, improving their annual win total each season under Ward. Trinity has also finished as CCAC Tournament semifinalists each of the last two seasons, along with an NCCAA North-Central Region Championship, and two NCCAA Tournament appearances. With an 81-97 head coaching record, Ward is currently the third winningest volleyball coach in TIU history.
Information regarding the new men's volleyball program will be announced at a later date.