Truett-McConnell College announced it will add wrestling and women’s volleyball to the athletic program beginning in fall 2011. The addition will give the Bears 13 men’s and women’s teams.
The wrestling team will be led by National Wrestling Hall of Fame Coach Jim Bailey. He is coming from Fayetteville High, where he taught English and coached wrestling and football. He has 33 years of coaching experience and was one of the Hall of Fame Georgia inductees chosen to be featured in the national museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Bailey said he is excited for the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level. "It was a complete surprise," he said. "I wasn’t expecting to start something on the collegiate level."
Bailey’s main goal is to create a united and solid team. He has already started recruiting and added that news of the new program is spreading quickly.
The program will most likely compete in early season tournaments against schools in the southeast, including Shorter University in Rome.
Truett-McConnell’s Athletic Director, Chris Eppling, is looking forward to having a wrestling program saying, "I think that having wrestling here will open up new horizons athletically for Truett-McConnell College."
The Bears volleyball program will be coached by current assistant softball coach, Kevia Elkins, and will begin their season shortly after classes start in the fall. The team may play fellow Southern States Athletic Association teams, but will not participate in the postseason in their inaugural year.
Elkins plans on building a strong foundation during the first year through effective communication and setting an expectation.
"I want the athletes to come out of volleyball, after four years, feeling like they were a part of a competitive program," Elkins said.
Though Elkins has already begun recruiting, a tryout date will be announced soon and several current students have expressed interest in participating.