In an interview for Delta College’s Radio and Television program on Nov. 18, Delta College Athletic Director Tony Espinoza spoke about the athletic program’s success, what could be done to make it better and discussions about establishing more teams.
Delta College currently offers 20 sports, 10 for men and 10 for women, but expansion may be possible.
“The next sport that has been discussed about potentially being an emerging sport here at Delta would be women’s wrestling. We’re looking at potentially introducing women’s wrestling in Spring 2021 and adding it to our current list of sports,” said Espinoza.
Most community colleges in California offer women’s volleyball, but only 16 out of 114 schools in the state offer a men’s team.
“The men’s side of volleyball is strictly down in Southern California. It hasn’t moved north yet, not to say that it won’t in the future, and if it does I’m sure it would be something that we would consider,” said Espinoza.
Delta College once offered tennis but the program was abandoned due to low participation numbers.
“We do a yearly survey testing interest of incoming students, and we haven’t had the numbers to support introducing tennis. You need a number of students to be able to get a team going and establish a competitive team,” said Espinoza.
Some of the challenges facing the program lie within the facilities used by the teams.
Maintenance of these facilities are a concern for Espinoza and the athletic department.
“I think there are some things that we need to work on with our facilities,” said Espinoza
“We’re reaching the lifespan of some of the turf facilities, so that’s the focus for us right now within our department, what areas need to be maintenanced and what areas need to be potentially looked at for replacement.”
The department has also discussed the possibility of establishing a facility for Delta College’s beach volleyball team on the main campus.
The team uses a facility at the University of the Pacific for practice and home matches.
“There has been discussion of where we move in regards to a facility for beach,” said Espinoza
“Financially it’s a major expense to be able to bring those facilities in, and the discussion of where those facilities would be located would be a question that we would have to figure out as we move forward with that discussion.”
Espinoza remarked on what he thinks Delta’s athletics program does best.
While some students continue both their academic and athletic careers, others only prefer continuing their education after transferring to a higher education institution.
“All of our coaches have a plan in place for their athletes,” said Espinoza. “There’s a lot of different routes that these athletes can go, but the coaches have all of that prepared and they have a plan in place.”