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CHATTANOOGA — In a statement released by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton on Thursday morning, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will add beach volleyball as its 16th NCAA Division I intercollegiate sport.
“We are excited about the addition of Beach Volleyball to our Intercollegiate athletics lineup.  It is one of the rising competitive programs in the NCAA and bringing it to Chattanooga is exciting for our university and community,” said Wharton. 

UTC will face a limited schedule this spring before competing in a full season in spring of 2021. Chattanooga will announce and confirm conference alignment in the near future. 

All future home matches will be played at the newly constructed UTC Sports Complex located on O’Neal Street next to historic Engel Stadium in downtown Chattanooga. You can check out more information on the UTC Sports Complex, HERE.

The initial roster will consist of the indoor volleyball student-athletes who retain eligibility in Spring 2020.

Current indoor assistant coach Darin Van Horn has been tabbed to lead the Mocs’ beach volleyball program. Van Horn is entering his fifth season at UTC after moving to the Scenic City in 2015. He helped lead the indoor team to its first SoCon Regular Season title in two decades behind a 26-6 overall record during his initial season.

Van Horn came to Chattanooga from the University of Virginia where he served as a volunteer assistant for one season. It was his first post-graduate position after several roles during his undergraduate days at Penn State.

He was the travel manager for the Nittany Lions men’s volleyball squad from 2009-12 and the highly-regarded women’s program for two (2012-13), including the 2013 NCAA Championship run. He served as head coach for the women’s club team from 2013-14. Van Horn also played for the men’s club squad from 2009-13.


Additional details including schedule, roster and conference information will be made available in the coming weeks. Stick to or follow along @GoMocsBeachVB on both Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.


The inaugural championship for the National Collegiate sport took place in spring 2016. When the sport was placed on the list of emerging sports for women in 2009, it was called sand volleyball. But because the sport is known as beach volleyball at all other levels of play throughout the world, the committee made its decision on the name based on membership support from all three divisions’ championship committees, as well as the support of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and USA Volleyball. (NCAA, 2015)


In NCAA beach volleyball, two schools play five best two-out-of-three set doubles matches against one another, with the winner being the first to claim at least three of the contests. The NCAA championship will have an eight-team bracket that will be played in a double-elimination format.

For the most up-to-date information regarding Chattanooga Athletics, please follow us on Twitter (@GoMocs), Instagram (@GoMocsAthletics) & Facebook (Chattanooga Athletics Department), or visit



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