Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Berkeley Prep boys volleyball coach wants to raise profile of the game

TAMPA

In the span of nearly three decades of coaching girls volleyball at Berkeley Prep, Randy Dagostino seemingly has accomplished almost everything.

Almost.

"The next step is to help put boys volleyball on the map and grow it in this area," Dagostino said. "It thrives in other places around the state. Why not here?"

And that's the question one of the most decorated coaches in the history of girls volleyball is trying to answer. Dagostino, who recently retired from coaching the Buccaneers girls team after capturing 15 state titles in 28 seasons, is in the process of making boys volleyball relevant at the high school level in Hillsborough County.

"My goal," he said, "is to make an impact."

The Florida High School Athletic Association currently oversees 118 schools in boys volleyball. The bulk of those call either Broward or Dade County home. Berkeley Prep, the only Tampa Bay area school with a high school boys program, also stands as the lone school west of Orlando to field a team. Dagostino, who compiled a staggering 829-161 record with the girls team, said that he can envision a scenario one day where the sport catches on in Hillsborough County.

"Because I have been around so long, I can remember the days when girls volleyball wasn't a very big deal around here," he said. "In 1983, Tampa was no volleyball hotbed, believe me."

Dagostino, who has been named Florida High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year seven times and Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year three more times, started the boys program four years ago. After a provisional season, the Bucs became state-series eligible the next year.

"It's stereotypically a girls sport," outside hitter Nick Burgess said. "We're trying to bring to light that the guys' game is exciting and athletic."

Because no other local teams play, the Bucs travel up to two hours one-way to face teams in their district such as Bishop Moore, Apopka and Orlando Edgewater.

"We don't mind the travel too much because we do things to keep us entertained, and I think it brings us closer as a team," setter Kyle Dagostino said. "We'll have freestyle rap contests and play card games. It's a good way to interact with the whole team."

But Randy Dagostino would prefer those district matches to be crosstown trips instead.

"To me, for the school systems to pick this sport up is a no-brainer," he said. "They already have the equipment in place because of the girl's teams. The gyms aren't being used (during the spring). There would be very little expense."

Dagostino isn't sure how long it will take for the boys game to catch on around here, but he believes it will be sooner than later.

"We need to get the right people out to watch this game because I'm telling you, they would be shocked at the level of athleticism," he said. "It's a dynamic game."

Kyle Dagostino said winning a state title would go a long way in helping to get the sport established in the area. The 19-2 Bucs open up district play on Tuesday with an eye on the state finals May 11-12 in Kissimmee.

"If we can finish up the season as successfully as we think we can, it will help grow interest in the sport and create an opportunity to get more teams around here," he said. "We are ambassadors."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]

Berkeley Prep boys volleyball coach wants to raise profile of the game 04/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL Week 7: What we learned

    Bucs

    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  2. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  3. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17

    College

    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]