Athletics Program Continues Growth

The 2023-24 academic year was the second in Virginia Peninsula Community College’s three-year sports expansion plan, yet athletics director Chris Moore said it was as important as the first year.

He pointed to the addition of men’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field, the hiring of a permanent coach for women’s volleyball, men’s basketball joining the NJCAA, and a full season of women’s basketball.

“I think the word I would use for this entire year would be groundbreaking,” he said.

The College has sponsored baseball and men’s and women’s basketball for many years. For the 2022-23 academic year, VPCC added women’s volleyball. Looking ahead to the 2024-25 academic year, the College will add men’s and women’s cross country, and possibly esports.

“I thought last year we laid a foundation. This year, we did a good job of recruiting student-athletes and coaches,” Moore said. “Next year, it’s about retaining and making sure people know that we’re not just going to start sports but we’re going to keep sports here and we’re going to be able to sustain them.”

For the 2023-24 seasons, 135 students participated in one of the College’s sports programs, much more than expected.

“I think my original goal was to make sure we had 100,” Moore said. “To know that we beat that mark is amazing.”

He expects the number to stay about the same for the next academic year so he’s concentrating on making sure those student-athletes return to the College.

“I think the biggest thing is retention,” he said. “I knew this year was going to be a growing year. I think the next year is going to be a retention year. I want to make sure we don’t just recruit them.”

Big things are in store for the next year, with Moore considering adding esports at the top of the list.

“The support is there,” Moore said. “We just have to figure out the financial commitment.”

A big positive, Moore said, is esports is a STEM initiative as well as an athletics one.

In other news, the women’s volleyball team and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will have new home sites. The College has worked out a deal with Antoine Bethea and the SafeHaven Empowerment Center in Newport News for the use of the facility, which is under renovation.

The College also took two big steps to help with promoting its athletics teams, both of which occurred behind the scenes. The first was an addition of a new website devoted just to sports: The second was the purchase of two 15-passenger vans to transport the teams. The vans are adorned with the VPCC logo and colors.

“The website has been amazing because people are going to the website. The website is our front door,” Moore said. “The buses are a mobile billboard for the College and our department.”

He said he recently received an unsolicited text message with a photo of the buses on the highway. The sender added, “Go VPCC.”

The vans will help in recruitment and save the College money in the long run. Moore had anticipated spending up to $75,000 next year on bus transportation.

“It’s something I’m super thankful for,” Moore said. “It’s a testament to the support we are getting from our leadership and the College to help us grow the program.”

Moore added it’s an exciting time at the College regarding athletics, and he and the coaches are always looking for athletes.

“We’re actively recruiting for all sports,” he said.

That is true of high school students and current VPCC students.

“We’re looking for them to come on board and be a part of our Gator family,” he said.

Anyone interested in being a student-athlete at VPCC can reach Moore at For more information on the College, visit