Irvine, CA. May 1, 2018 – Westcliff University Athletic Director Paul Cook has announced the addition of Men’s Beach Volleyball to become a sport for WU Athletics. The men’s beach team will start its inaugural season in the fall of 2018 and compete again after the indoor season is done in April. Women’s collegiate beach volleyball has been one of the fastest growing sports in history and the men’s game has an opportunity to follow. Westcliff University wants to be on the forefront and help pave the way for men in the best location possible for beach volleyball – in the heart of Southern California.
The Beach Warriors will be led by head coach Danko Iordanov, who brings a wealth of experience in the beach game. Coach Iordanov grew up two minutes walking distance from the beach in the resort city of Varna, Bulgaria and he fell in love with the game at a young age when beach volleyball was gaining popularity in Europe. He established himself as one of the top players in the region, winning domestic and international junior and men’s tournaments prior to college. He put his beach career on hold while competing indoor collegiately and professionally and since 2005 he has been competing on several tours, including the AVP. In the past 7 years he has been transitioning to coaching and he has had the opportunity to work with top high school and collegiate players at PRM Sand (Arizona), Sandstorm VBC, and with professional players. Coach Iordanov has acquired considerable knowledge in the game from playing and coaching in hundreds of tournaments and learning from world class coaches and players and he is eager to share it with the next generation of student-athletes.
Coach Danko commented: “I am truly honored to lead the Westcliff University Men’s beach volleyball team! University president, Dr. Anthony Lee and athletic director Paul Cook have a great vision for our athletic program and they support the development of Men’s Beach Volleyball. When I was deciding where to attend college I wished that beach volleyball for men was an option and now 18 years later we are working to make it a reality! With the growth of the women’s collegiate beach game, we have seen a jump in the level of play of the US beach women’s teams, period. Traditionally it takes years of preparation for the top college indoor players to transition to the beach game and become successful at the professional level. Now with quality coaching and practicing while in college, the players are getting better faster, at a younger age. I am extremely excited that the men will get that same opportunity to excel at the game while attending college!”
The season will be in the fall and will continue in the spring after indoor volleyball’s season is over in order to give an opportunity for student-athletes to participate in both if they want to. There are a lot of opportunities for competition in Southern California! The Beach Warriors will play traditional college vs college with a couple other existing men’s programs and the program will also enter teams in the So Cal NCSVA, the new collegiate beach volleyball league and the Collegiate Beach Championships in May. The schedule can be expanded to include CBVA, AVP-Next and the top teams may even get a chance to represent Westcliff University in a local AVP qualifier next summer.
“It’s a great way to get good education and play the game that you love”, coach Iordanov continues, “even if you are done with your indoor collegiate eligibility, you can come and earn an MBA while playing beach volleyball”.
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