Coastal Carolina Will Join Sun Belt Conference
It hasn't been a secret the Sun Belt Conference has been looking to expand.
And, they've settled on their newest member.
Several media sources, including USA Today, are reporting Coastal Carolina will be introduced as the newest member of the league at a news conference tomorrow at 12:00 noon (CDT).
Coastal Carolina is currently a member of the Big South Conference. It is expected they will join the league for the 2016-17 athletic season.
Adding a twelfth member was a priority for the league, which ran into issues with eleven teams for Olympic Sports which increased travel costs, especially in basketball where the teams were playing a double round robin of twenty conference games. Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said during the league's football media days in July that expansion would not be driven by football.
The Chanticleers have been in the NCAA Basketball Tournament in two of the last three years. Their baseball program has become a perennial nationally ranked club that has played host to a super regional.
Coastal is new to the football scene but has risen quickly to be a player in the Football College Subdivision. They are ranked as high as #6 in the preseason FCS polls. Their football stadium, which seats fewer than 10,000 will be expanded to seat in the range of 21,000 fans. It is expected CCU will undergo transitional seasons in 2016 (FCS) and 2017 (Sun Belt) and be eligible to compete for a bowl game by 2018.
Coastal Carolina recently underwent facility upgrades, including a new basketball arena, a new baseball stadium and an updating of their softball facility.
Coastal Carolina is located in Conway, South Carolina, about twenty minutes from Myrtle Beach.