BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University Director of Athletics Kris Diaz '78 has announced that the University will add men's volleyball to its athletics program and have named Kyle Mars as the team's first head coach.
The team will start competition in the spring of 2021.
"BW is excited to add men's volleyball to our varsity sport offerings," stated Diaz. "Kyle has done a great job in starting and building the men's team at Hiram. We felt he would be a great addition to our staff and University as our inaugural coach and lead the "startup" for BW Men's Volleyball. He was part of a nationally recognized program in college, participated on championship teams and is connected with USA Volleyball and many of the youth programs in this developing sport across the country and Northeast Ohio. We are looking forward to him building a strong, competitive program at BW."
BW, an NCAA Division III institution, is a founding member of the Ohio Athletic Conference but the Yellow Jackets may compete as an independent in their inaugural season as the OAC does not currently sponsor the sport. BW becomes just the second OAC member to offer the program.
Mars comes to Berea after serving as the Head Men's Volleyball Coach at Hiram College for the past three years. He is no stranger to starting a program as he was tasked with building the Terriers' program from the ground up. In his two seasons, Mars has won 13 matches.
"I would like to thank Kris Diaz and Baldwin Wallace University for giving me the opportunity to become the inaugural head men's volleyball coach, and help bring men's volleyball to the institution as a varsity sport," stated Mars. "BW's high academic profile and track record of very successful athletic programs makes it an attractive University to feature men's volleyball. I look forward to serving the university, and joining a great culture of coaches and student-athletes."
Prior to Hiram, he served as a graduate assistant coach at Elmira (N.Y.) College where he mentored five All-United Volleyball Conference selections, including the 2016 Libero of the Year, and two American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American selections.
Mars earned a degree in telecommunications from Penn State University in 2013 and a Master's degree in management from Elmira in 2016. While at Penn State, he was a member of the Nittany Lions men's volleyball team that advanced to four-straight NCAA Division I final four appearances, including being the national runner-up in 2010
The addition of men's volleyball brings the total of athletic teams at BW to 24. BW sponsors baseball, football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's and women's tennis, softball, women's volleyball and wrestling.