By DEVON CONWAY
The Spartans just added a new NCAA team to their extensive list of sports: beach volleyball. Beach volleyball will be coached by 16-year assistant coach of the indoor volleyball team, Jeffery Lamm. The new program has announced a tryout date on September 22 at 5 p.m. at the new beach volleyball facility on campus.
Lamm is not new to head coaching, having coached at the club level for plenty of years. Despite this, Lamm learned a lot from his years of being the assistant coach under the head coach of the UT volleyball team Chris Catanach.
“Some of the main things I have learned and admire about coach is how he runs his program with integrity and passion,” Lamm said. “The players always know where they stand and there are no head games. You have not met a more competitive human being than Coach Catanach, even after 34 years of coaching he is still has the same competitive spirit.”
Lamm also plans to incorporate new tactics into his coaching style for beach volleyball.
“I want the beach players to give their best effort in everything they do, from training, lifting, classroom etc,” Lamm said. “If you develop a work ethic off the court, working hard on the court is easy. I believe if I build this program around honesty and hard work the rewards will follow.”
Junior Gen Beaumier, believes that Lamm will be an excellent head coach for the beach volleyball team.
“Coach Lamm and his staff have lots of experience with beach volleyball and are excellent coaches,” Beaumier said. “I’m excited to see all the success that comes to them in such a young program.”
Although beach volleyball is a spring sport, this tryout date will be the only time for any UT students to try out for the team. Currently, Lamm expects five or six girls to tryout.
“We already have 16 on the roster (eight Beach only and eight Indoor/Beach) so there isn’t that much room to add new players this year,”said Lamm.
The main difference between indoor and beach volleyball for the Spartans is that beach volleyball will not compete in the Division II Sunshine State Conference (SSC). The beach volleyball program will be considered Division I. The team starts their official season in Spring 2018, and will be competing against different Division I and II teams.
The teams range from first year programs like the Spartans, to some nationally ranked teams, such as The University of Southern California, UCLA, and Florida State. Next year, the SSC will have four new beach volleyball teams that the Spartans will compete against. The Spartans also have trips planned to Stetson University, Florida Atlantic University and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Although UT beach volleyball is a new program, they have high expectations. With effort and passion, the coaches and players are determined to become big time players across the country. Coach Lamm has arranged for the squad to make a trip out of Florida to play against some of the big beach volleyball names across the country.
Lamm has high expectation for his team as they progress as a program. “My expectations this year are to lay the building blocks of what we hope will be a nationally competitive team in the near future. I feel that we will be able to compete with everyone we will face this year and gain some valuable experience to build on in future year”, said Lamm.
Devon Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org