Sun Belt Conference
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 11 full members (those playing most of their sports in the league), nine play football in the top-level Division I FBS, and the other two do not play football. The conference's full members are scattered through the southern United States.
Members[change | change source]
The current non-football members are Arkansas–Little Rock and Texas–Arlington.
|Appalachian State University||Boone, North Carolina||1899||Public||Mountaineers||2014|
|University of Arkansas at Little Rock||Little Rock, Arkansas||1927||Public||Trojans||1991|
|Arkansas State University||Jonesboro, Arkansas||1909||Public||Red Wolves||1991|
|Georgia Southern University||Statesboro, Georgia||1906||Public||Eagles||2014|
|Georgia State University||Atlanta, Georgia||1913||Public||Panthers||1976, 2013[a 1]|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Lafayette, Louisiana||1898||Public||Ragin' Cajuns||1991|
|University of Louisiana at Monroe||Monroe, Louisiana||1931||Public||Warhawks||2001 (football only)
2006 (all sports)
|University of South Alabama||Mobile, Alabama||1963||Public||Jaguars||1976|
|University of Texas at Arlington||Arlington, Texas||1895||Public||Mavericks||2013|
|Texas State University–San Marcos||San Marcos, Texas||1899||Public||Bobcats||2013|
|Troy University||Troy, Alabama||1887||Public||Trojans||2004 (football only)
2005 (all sports)
- Georgia State left the Sun Belt in 1981 and returned in 2013.
Future member[change | change source]
On September 1, 2015, the conference announced that Coastal Carolina University would join in July 2016. It will start out as a member in all sports except football; at that time, the football team was playing in the second-level Division I FCS. The football team will start a transition to FBS when Coastal joins the Sun Belt, and will join Sun Belt football in 2017. Full FBS membership and bowl eligibility will follow in 2018.
|Coastal Carolina University||Conway, South Carolina||1954||Public||Chanticleers||2016
(2017 in football)
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 three playing only men's soccer.
|Nickname||Joined||Sun Belt sport||Main conference|
|Hartwick College||Oneonta, New York||1797||Private||Hawks||2014||Men's soccer||Empire 8
|Howard University||Washington, D.C.||1867||Private||Bison||2014||Men's soccer||MEAC|
|University 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|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)||Newark, New Jersey||1881||Public||Highlanders||2014||Men's soccer||A-Sun[b 3]|
- Idaho played Sun Belt football from 2001 to 2005.
- 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.
- Although NJIT's all-sports home of the Atlantic Sun Conference runs a men's soccer league, NJIT will remain an associate of the Sun Belt in the 2015 season. NJIT is honoring a contract that calls for it to play men's soccer in the Sun Belt through that season. The NJIT men's soccer team will join the A-Sun in 2016.
References[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sun Belt Conference|
- 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.
- Atlantic Sun Conference (June 12, 2015). "New Jersey Institute of Technology to Join the Atlantic Sun: #NJITtoASun". Press release. http://atlanticsun.org/sports/mbkb/2014-15/releases/20150612cws6jg. Retrieved June 12, 2015.