Most of the growth in collegiate men's volleyball in the last twenty years has been at the NCAA Division III level. Gerry Matacotta has been the driving force behind that growth. Matacotta was one of the founders of the Northeast Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA), a NCAA Division III men's volleyball conference, and has also acted as the organization's executive director.
Matacotta has tirelessly promoted, marketed and convinced collegiate athletic directors through the northeast part of the country to add a men's volleyball program to their list of varsity sports. In 1995, there were approximately 28 Division III men's volleyball teams in the nation. Today there are nearly 60 programs.
Matacotta was instrumental in the development of the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship, which previously served as the season-ending tournament for Division III men's volleyball until this season, helping bring the AVCA, USA Volleyball and Molten Inc., aboard as event sponsors. In January 2011, the NCAA voted to create a new men's volleyball Division III National Championship tournament, marking the first men's NCAA National Championship that has been added since 1985. Until then, the only NCAA national championship tournament for which men's Division III schools were eligible to compete was the same one in which larger, scholarship granting Division I and II schools compete.
"There is no doubt that no one has more directly impacted the growth of men's NCAA volleyball at the Division III level than Gerry," affirmed USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal in his endorsement letter of Matacotta. "He has worked diligently and tirelessly with other partners, like the late Mike Riccardi, to create the NECVA men's volleyball conference. The structure he put together, the regulations that the conference operated under and the involvement of the schools' athletic directors allowed for tremendous growth of NCAA Division III men's volleyball, which ultimately led to the formation of a separate men's Division III championship that will be contested for the first time in 2012."