NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Not played at the school since the 1980s, Vanderbilt University will reverse course by adding back women's volleyball to its sports offerings.
The sport will begin competition in the 2025–26 academic year.
"Volleyball and Vanderbilt are a perfect fit, and we are excited to welcome a new group of student-athletes, fans and supporters to Commodore Nation," said Candice Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director. "Adding one of the most popular participation sports for girls and one of the NCAA’s fastest-growing women’s championship experiences is in line with our ongoing effort to reimagine the future of Vanderbilt Athletics and provide the best student-athlete experience in college athletics."
Reintroducing the volleyball program is part of the school's Vanderbilt United campaign. Vanderbilt plans to conduct a national search this fall for a head coach to lead the program.
“As we approach the 150th anniversary of Vanderbilt’s founding, we remain committed to the mission of helping student-athletes realize their full potential,” said Chancellor Daniel Diermeier. “To fully serve this purpose, the university must itself never stop growing and seeking new opportunities for excellence. Today’s announcement of volleyball as our 17th varsity sport serves as further proof that we are writing a new chapter for Vanderbilt Athletics. Youth participation rates make clear that the sport has strong roots in Tennessee, and we look forward to bringing elite collegiate volleyball to our community.”
After careful study, Vanderbilt believes a 36-month timeline for implementation offers the program the best chance for sustainable and competitive success, particularly in the Southeastern Conference, which will now sponsor 16 varsity volleyball programs starting in 2025 with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas. This allows the university sufficient time to build the infrastructure and resources necessary to support the sport at a championship level.