JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UNF is getting a brand new, on-campus beach volleyball complex.
The Ospreys made the announcement on Monday that, thanks to a final funding bump from Dwight and Christine Cooper's "Cooper Family Foundation," they will build a full beach volleyball facility. It is scheduled to be complete in time for UNF's 2020 season.
"This all leads us to the student-athlete experience and how important it is to have a competition complex on campus," UNF athletic director Lee Moon said in a statement. "It's a win-win opportunity in that our team will compete in a top-notch facility and the campus community has the chance to utilize the grounds and get behind the pride of having a home for beach volleyball on campus.
"Considering the national growth of beach volleyball within the NCAA, the addition of this facility puts our program in a great position to compete on the national stage."
The facility will be called "The Coop," short for "The Cooper Beach Volleyball Complex." It will have five courts, a scoreboard and bleachers to seat a capacity of 300 people.
Previously, UNF had to practice and play off-campus.
UNF is one of 83 colleges that have varsity beach volleyball teams in NCAA Division I, II and III. The Ospreys, along with Jacksonville University, are both Division I, and are two of the 17 teams in the Southeast.
According to the NCAA, the operating costs are $35,000 to $50,000 annually for a beach volleyball program. Beach volleyball, originally called sand volleyball, became recognized as an emerging sport by the NCAA in 2010.