Sun Belt Conference

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The Sun Belt Conference is a group of college sports teams that play each other on the NCAA Division I level. The conference was formed in 1976, and started playing football in 2001. Of the current 12 full members (those playing most of their sports in the league), nine play football in the top-level Division I FBS. Two do not play football, and the league's newest member, Coastal Carolina, will move its football team from the second-level Division I FCS to the Sun Belt Conference in 2017.[1] The conference's full members are scattered through the southern United States.

Members[change | change source]

The current non-football members are Coastal Carolina, Little Rock, and Texas–Arlington. Coastal will join for football in 2017.

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Nickname Joined
Sun Belt
Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina 1899 Public Mountaineers 2014
Arkansas State University Jonesboro, Arkansas 1909 Public Red Wolves 1991
Coastal Carolina University Conway, South Carolina 1954 Public Chanticleers 2016
(2017 in football)
Georgia Southern University Statesboro, Georgia 1906 Public Eagles 2014
Georgia State University Atlanta, Georgia 1913 Public Panthers 1976, 2013[a 1]
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock) Little Rock, Arkansas 1927 Public Trojans 1991
Louisiana LafayetteUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, Louisiana 1898 Public Ragin' Cajuns 1991
Louisiana MonroeUniversity of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, Louisiana 1931 Public Warhawks 2001 (football only)
2006 (all sports)
South AlabamaUniversity of South Alabama Mobile, Alabama 1963 Public Jaguars 1976
Texas ArlingtonUniversity of Texas at Arlington Arlington, Texas 1895 Public Mavericks 2013
Texas State University San Marcos, Texas 1899 Public Bobcats 2013
Troy University Troy, Alabama 1887 Public Trojans 2004 (football only)
2005 (all sports)
  1. Georgia State left the Sun Belt in 1981 and returned in 2013.


Associate members[change | change source]

In the past, the Sun Belt has had "associate members" that play only a few sports, usually one, in the league. Since 2014, the league once again has associate members, with two playing only football and two playing only men's soccer.

The Sun Belt announced in 2016 that its agreements for Idaho and New Mexico State to play football in the league would not be renewed when they end after the 2017 season.[2]

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Nickname Joined Sun Belt sport Main conference
Hartwick College Oneonta, New York 1797 Private Hawks 2014 Men's soccer Empire 8
(Division III)
Howard University Washington, D.C. 1867 Private Bison 2014 Men's soccer MEAC
IdahoUniversity of Idaho Moscow, Idaho 1889 Public Vandals 2014[b 1] Football Big Sky
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico 1888 Public Aggies 2014[b 2] Football WAC
  1. Idaho played Sun Belt football from 2001 to 2005.
  2. New Mexico State joined the Sun Belt as a full member in 2000, and brought its football team into the league the next year. NMSU left the conference in 2005.

References[change | change source]

  1. Sun Belt Conference (September 1, 2015). "Coastal Carolina to Join Sun Belt Conference". Press release. http://sunbeltsports.org/news/2015/9/1/GENERAL_0901151041.aspx. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  2. Sun Belt Conference (March 1, 2016). "Sun Belt Football to Be 10 Teams in 2018". Press release. http://sunbeltsports.org/news/2016/3/1/FB_0301161055.aspx. Retrieved March 1, 2016.