— Hall of Fame coach Fran Flory also announced as team’s head coach —
— Volleyball veteran, former Red Bull executive Ruben Hererra to serve as President —
COLUMBUS, OH / FRISCO, TX – Pro Volleyball Federation, the premier women’s professional volleyball league in North America, announced Las Vegas as its newest market, giving the League seven teams that will play during its 2024 inaugural season.
Each of the seven teams will play a 24-match schedule in 2024. In addition to those seven teams, Pro Volleyball Federation has already added three teams that will begin play in 2025. The first of those – Dallas – has already been announced publicly, with the identification of the other markets to be announced in the coming days.
The ownership group for the Las Vegas team includes a mix of local ties, along with high-profile individuals sure to bring excitement to the market. The group is led by local political leader Andy Abboud and former Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. Additional partners in the group will be introduced soon.
The Las Vegas team also announced its head coach, American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee Fran Flory. Flory, who will lead the team’s volleyball operations, spent 31 years as a college head coach, including 24 at LSU where she was the school’s all-time winningest head coach and led the Tigers to nine NCAA tournament appearances, seven SEC West titles, and an SEC championship title in 2009.
Joining Flory will be Ruben Herrera, who was named President of the Las Vegas team. A former Red Bull marketing executive for nearly a decade, Herrera is deeply positioned within the Las Vegas volleyball ecosystem, serving as club director of the Vegas Aces, southern Nevada’s premier youth volleyball organization. Herrera was also the top assistant coach at UNLV and served as the recruiting coordinator, floor practice coach, and camp director for the Rebels. In 1988 he became the youngest Division I volleyball head coach at the University of New Orleans where he still has the best winning percentage in school history. He also served as assistant head coach at the University of Virginia.
“We could not be more excited about the addition of the Las Vegas franchise to Pro Volleyball Federation,” said Dave Whinham, the League’s co-founder. “Las Vegas is such a fast-growing market, and one that has proven to support its professional teams. Just as exciting are the people that we have been able to attract to the organization. Each individual represents excellence, and each has had a very distinguished career that we know will translate into the Las Vegas team having a remarkable leadership team in every respect.”
Added Flory: “I’ve made my career in volleyball, and this sport is my passion. The vision of Pro Volleyball Federation in bringing this great sport to the forefront at a major league level is a long time coming in this country. Pro Volleyball Federation’s focus on treating these our athletes the right way and providing professional opportunities to the talented women who play the game makes me proud to be at the forefront of this amazing new League. We have already started recruiting and signing players, and the sheer number of outstanding women who want to be a part of the Las Vegas organization makes me extremely excited about the future of pro volleyball in Las Vegas. These awesome athletes are very easy to care about, and Las Vegas is going to fall in love with this team and the spectacular players who will proudly put on the Las Vegas jersey.”
Pro Volleyball Federation is the first women’s professional volleyball league in North America that provides world-class players the opportunity to make a living wage without having to go overseas to pursue their professional careers. The League also offers a new horizon for youth volleyball players who have, until now, never been able to have professional role models in the sport they love.
“I have been involved in volleyball in Las Vegas for a long time, and being allowed to lead this organization is an incredible honor,” Herrera said. “In speaking to many of the local business and political leaders, there will be no lack of support for Pro Volleyball Federation throughout the Las Vegas market, and I know we will become another successful addition to the burgeoning professional sports scene in Las Vegas and southern Nevada.”
Abboud is highly respected in the local community, including possessing some of the most diverse and wide-ranging political experience in the hospitality industry. As Senior Vice President of Government Relations with Las Vegas Sands Corporation, he has managed the political and governmental affairs for Las Vegas Sands and the Adelson Family along with aiding and assisting in the company’s expansion efforts and development projects. He is also a member of the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees.
“As a graduate of the University of Nebraska, home to one of the greatest women’s college volleyball dynasties in America, I have deep roots in the sport of women’s volleyball,” said Abboud. “More than 92,000 fans recently sold out the football stadium for a volleyball match, and it was such a special moment for the sport. I can personally attest to the fact that once people see women’s volleyball played at the highest level, they will be hooked. My partners and I are dedicated to bringing amazing experiences to Las Vegas sports fans, and I can’t wait to introduce some of the outstanding people behind our new Las Vegas team.”
In addition to his role as former Attorney General of the state of Nebraska, Bruning has seen the growth of the sport up-close through his ties to the highly-ranked University of Nebraska volleyball program. “Women’s volleyball is not only the top United States team sport in high school with more than 500,000 girls playing annually, it’s one of the highest rated Olympic sports every four years,” Bruning commented. “It’s past time for the best athletes in the world to have a United States-based professional league where they can showcase their talents.”
The Las Vegas team will announce additional members of the ownership group, along with the team name, playing venue, and initial players at a celebration event in the coming weeks. In the meantime, those interested in joining the effort can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT PRO VOLLEYBALL FEDERATION
Pro Volleyball Federation is REAL pro volleyball and the premier women’s professional volleyball league in North America. Pro Volleyball Federation will begin play in February 2024 with world class players and coaches, including some of America’s greatest volleyball players and elite players from around the world. Our entire focus is on ensuring that our level and quality of play, our treatment of players, the quality of our event presentations, and our day-to-day fan experience is world class and the very best offered in North America. For more information, visit ProVolleyball.com.
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