Big South Conference

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Big South Conference
Big South Conference logo
Established 1983
Association NCAA
Division Division I FCS
Members 10
Sports fielded 19 (men's: 9; women's: 10)
Region South Atlantic States
Headquarters Charlotte, North Carolina
Commissioner Kyle Kallander (since 1996)
Website www.bigsouthsports.com
Locations
Big South Conference locations

The Big South Conference is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division I. Originally a non-football conference, the Big South began sponsoring football in 2002. Its football teams are part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Big South, founded in 1983, is firmly rooted in the South Atlantic region of the United States, with full member institutions located in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia with affiliates in Georgia and New Jersey.[1]

History[edit]

Charter members included Armstrong State (now Armstrong Atlantic State University) (1983–1987), Augusta (later Augusta State University and now merged into Augusta University) (1983–1990), Campbell University (1983–1994; 2011–present), Baptist College (now Charleston Southern University) (1983–present), Coastal Carolina University (1983–2016), Radford University (1983–present) and Winthrop University (1983–present).

The expansion of membership occurred during the 1980s and '90s. Some of those members are the University of North Carolina at Asheville (1984–present), Davidson College (1990–1992), Liberty University (1991–present), the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (1992–1998), the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1992–1997), Towson University (1992–1995), Elon University (1999–2003), High Point University (1999–present) and Birmingham–Southern College (2000–2007).

The Big South Conference began sponsoring football in 2002, with Charleston Southern, Elon (at the time) and Liberty (Gardner–Webb University also joined as a football-only member) fielding teams; Coastal Carolina and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) joined the conference as football-only members in 2003. In that same athletic year, VMI also joined the conference for all sports, but left to re-join the Southern Conference in 2014. Presbyterian College joined the conference in 2007, moving up from Division II, and became eligible for regular-season championships and conference honors during the 2008–09 athletic year.[2] Gardner–Webb, which had been a football-only member since 2002, joined the conference for all sports on July 1, 2008.[2] Campbell rejoined the Big South for all sports except football in the 2011–12 athletic year. Longwood University accepted an invitation to join the Big South on January 23, 2012, and membership formally began July 1 of that year; Longwood had been independent since 2004, during their transition to Division I.[3] In 2014, following the departure of VMI, the conference returned to a single-division structure.[4] On September 1, 2015, Coastal Carolina announced they would leave the conference following the 2015–16 school year to transition to FBS-level football and the Sun Belt Conference.[5] On June 30, 2016, the day before the school joined the Sun Belt, Coastal Carolina won the 2016 College World Series in baseball. This was the first time in conference history that a team won an NCAA championship in any sport.

In September 2016, the Big South and the ASUN Conference announced a football partnership that will effectively combine the two conferences in that sport. Under its terms, any members of either conference that add or upgrade to scholarship football, provided they fall within the current geographic footprint of the two leagues, will automatically join Big South football. At the time of announcement, the only ASUN member that played scholarship football, Kennesaw State, was already a Big South football member. The partnership will provide a guaranteed football home to the leagues' current three non-scholarship football programs (Campbell from the Big South, and Jacksonville and Stetson from the ASUN) should they upgrade to scholarship status.[6]

In November 2016, Campbell announced that it would begin offering scholarships and move its football program from the Pioneer Football League to the Big South in 2018.

On December 6, 2016, the University of North Alabama, ASUN and the Big South Conference announced that, effective in 2018, the school will leave the Division II Gulf South Conference and will join ASUN in non-football sports and the Big South in football. UNA has won three Division II NCAA national championships in football and has won at least a share of the Gulf South Conference football championship for four consecutive seasons through 2016.

Member schools[edit]

Current full members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment US News Ranking Endowment Nickname Colors
Campbell University Buies Creek, North Carolina 1887 1983,
2011[note 1]
Private
(Baptist)
10,471 31
(Regional: South)
$210 million Fighting Camels          
Charleston Southern University North Charleston, South Carolina 1964 1983 Private
(Southern Baptist)
3,269 Not Published/Tier 2
(Regional: South)
$13 million Buccaneers          
Gardner–Webb University Boiling Springs, North Carolina 1905 2008 Private
(Baptist)
4,617 34
(Regional: South)
$55.5 million Runnin' Bulldogs          
High Point University High Point, North Carolina 1924 1999 Private
(United Methodist)
4,199 1
(Regional: South)
$42.7 million Panthers          
Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia 1971 1991 Private
(Southern Baptist)
77,329 80
(Regional: South)
$1.05 billion Flames & Lady Flames               
Longwood University Farmville, Virginia 1839 2012 Public 4,960 30
(Regional: South)
$57.7 million Lancers          
Presbyterian College Clinton, South Carolina 1880 2007 Private 1,433 124
(National Liberal Arts)
$83.4 million Blue Hose          
Radford University Radford, Virginia 1910 1983 Public 9,928 34
(Regional: South)
$40.6 million Highlanders          
University of North Carolina at Asheville Asheville, North Carolina 1927 1984 Public
(UNC)
3,897 159
(National Liberal Arts)
$33.9 million Bulldogs          
Winthrop University Rock Hill, South Carolina 1886 1983 Public 6,130 25 (Regional: South) $36.2 million Eagles          
Notes
  1. ^ Campbell was a founding member of the Big South Conference in 1983. The Fighting Camels left in 1994 and rejoined in 2011 for all sports, except for their football program, which remains in the Pioneer Football League. Campbell football will join in 2018.

Current associate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Primary Conference Nickname Big South Sport(s) Colors
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, Georgia 1963 2015[7] Public 35,507 ASUN Owls football          
Monmouth University West Long Branch, New Jersey 1933 2014 Private 7,440 Metro Atlantic (MAAC) Hawks football          

Divisional realignment, 2012–2014[edit]

With the additions of Campbell and Longwood to the Big South in 2011 and 2012, Big South commissioner Kyle Kallander stated the conference will break up into two divisions of six teams each beginning in 2012–2013.[8] He also said the Big South Basketball Tournaments will be held at a single, neutral location. The divisional setup was as follows:

In men's and women's basketball, teams played the five other divisional opponents twice, one home and one away (ten games). They will play teams outside of the division once each (six games). This cuts the number of conference games to sixteen, as opposed to eighteen in previous years.

Following the departure of VMI for the Southern Conference in 2014, the conference returned to a single-division structure, and the basketball conference schedule returned to eighteen games.[4]

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Current
Conference
Armstrong State University Savannah, Georgia 1935 1983 1987 Public 7,538 Pirates Peach Belt
(NCAA Division II)
Augusta University[n 1] Augusta, Georgia 1785 1983 1990 Public 6,919 Jaguars Peach Belt
(NCAA Division II)
Birmingham–Southern College Birmingham, Alabama 1856 2000 2007 Private 1,600 Panthers SAA
(NCAA Division III)
Coastal Carolina University Conway, South Carolina 1954 1983 2016 Public 10,263 Chanticleers Sun Belt
Davidson College Davidson, North Carolina 1837 1990 1992 Private 1,756 Wildcats Atlantic 10
Elon University Elon, North Carolina 1889 1999 2003 Private 6,720 Phoenix CAA
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Catonsville, Maryland 1966 1992 1998 Public 13,637 Retrievers America East
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 1891 1992 1997 Public 18,502 Spartans SoCon
Towson University Towson, Maryland 1866 1992 1995 Public 21,950 Tigers CAA
Virginia Military Institute Lexington, Virginia 1839 2003 2014 Public 1,500 Keydets SoCon

Former associate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Sport Primary
Conference
Current
Conference
(former
BSC Sport)
Davidson College Davidson, North Carolina 1837 2012 2014 Private 1,756 Wildcats Women's lacrosse Atlantic 10
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, New York 1957 2008 2013 Public 24,607 Seawolves Football America East CAA
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington, North Carolina 1947 2000 2004 Public 14,918 Seahawks Women's golf CAA
  1. ^ Formerly known as Augusta State University until January 2013, when it merged with another Augusta institution (Georgia Health Sciences University) to create Georgia Regents University. At the time of the merger, only GRU (as Augusta State) had an athletic program, and GRU's sports teams continued to compete as "Augusta State" through the end of the 2012–13 school year. The school changed its name again to the current Augusta University in 2015.

Membership timeline[edit]

Kennesaw State University Monmouth University Longwood University Stony Brook University Presbyterian College Southern Conference Virginia Military Institute Gardner–Webb University Southern Athletic Association Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Birmingham–Southern College High Point University Colonial Athletic Association Southern Conference Elon University America East Conference Northeast Conference University of Maryland, Baltimore County Southern Conference University of North Carolina at Greensboro Colonial Athletic Association America East Conference Towson University Liberty University Atlantic 10 Conference Southern Conference Davidson College University of North Carolina at Asheville Winthrop University Radford University Sun Belt Conference Coastal Carolina University Charleston Southern University Atlantic Sun Conference Campbell University Peach Belt Conference Augusta University Peach Belt Conference Armstrong State University
  • Augusta State was merged into Georgia Regents University in January 2013; the merged school renamed itself Augusta University in 2015.

Sports[edit]

Locations of Big South Conference full member institutions, from 2014 through 2016. Colors indicate previous divisional affiliations.

The Big South sponsors championship competition in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Davidson has competed as an associate member in men's lacrosse, but left in 2014 when the school joined the lacrosse-sponsoring Atlantic 10 Conference. Stony Brook has competed as an associate in football, but left in 2013 for membership in the Colonial Athletic Association.[9][10] Two schools, Monmouth and Kennesaw State, are currently associates in football, respectively joining in 2014 and 2015.

Teams in Big South competition
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
10
-
Basketball
10
10
Cross Country
10
10
Football
6
-
Golf
9
8
Lacrosse
-
8
Soccer
9
10
Softball
-
8
Tennis
8
9
Track and Field (Indoor)
8
8
Track and Field (Outdoor)
7
8
Volleyball
-
9

Men's sponsored sports by school[edit]

School Baseball Basketball Cross Country Football Golf Soccer Tennis Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Total Big South Sports
Campbell
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
8
Charleston Southern
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
Gardner–Webb
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
9
High Point
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
Liberty
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
9
Longwood
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
6
Presbyterian
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
7
Radford
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
6
UNC Asheville
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
Winthrop
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
8
Totals
10
10
10
4+2
9
9
8
7
7
76
Affiliate Members
Kennesaw State
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
1
Monmouth
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
1

¿ = Campbell's football team does not currently participate in the Big South; it instead plays in the Pioneer Football League. Campbell football will join the Big South in 2018.

Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big South Conference which are played by Big South schools:

School Lacrosse Swimming Wrestling
Campbell No No Southern
Gardner–Webb No CCSA Southern
High Point Southern No No

Women's sponsored sports by school[edit]

School Basketball Cross Country Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Tennis Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Volleyball Total Big South Sports
Campbell
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
Charleston Southern
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
9
Gardner–Webb
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
High Point
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
8
Liberty
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
9
Longwood
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Red XN
7
Presbyterian
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
8
Radford
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
UNC Asheville
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
Winthrop
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
Totals
10
10
8
8
10
8
9
8
8
9
88

Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big South Conference which are played by Big South schools:

School Field Hockey Swimming
Campbell No CCSA
Gardner–Webb No CCSA
Liberty Big East CCSA
Longwood MAC No
UNC Asheville No CCSA
Notes

Football – players drafted to the NFL[edit]

The Big South has had a number of players to get drafted and play football professionally in the NFL.

Name Position School Draft year Draft pick NFL team
Tyler Thigpen QB Coastal Carolina 2007 Round 7, Pick 217 Vikings
Jerome Simpson WR Coastal Carolina 2008 Round 2, Pick 46 Bengals
Brian Johnston DE Gardner–Webb 2008 Round 7, Pick 210 Chiefs
Rashad Jennings RB Liberty 2009 Round 7, Pick 250 Jaguars
Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina 2012 Round 5, Pick 143 Panthers
Justin Bethel S Presbyterian 2012 Round 6, Pick 177 Cardinals
Walt Aikens CB Liberty 2014 Round 4, Pick 125 Dolphins
NFL Draftees from the Big South Conference

Conference champions[edit]

Men's basketball

Season Regular Season Champion Tournament Champion Tournament final location
1986 Charleston Southern (5–1) Charleston Southern Savannah Civic Center, Savannah, Georgia
1987 Charleston Southern (12–2) Charleston Southern Savannah Civic Center
1988 Coastal Carolina (9–3) Winthrop Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill, South Carolina
1989 Coastal Carolina (9–3) UNC Asheville Winthrop Coliseum
1990 Coastal Carolina (11–1) Coastal Carolina Winthrop Coliseum
1991 Coastal Carolina (13–1) Coastal Carolina Civic Center of Anderson, Anderson, South Carolina
1992 Radford (12–2) Campbell Civic Center of Anderson
1993 Towson State (14–2) Coastal Carolina North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
1994 Towson State (15–3) Liberty North Charleston Coliseum
1995 UNC Greensboro (14–2) Charleston Southern Vines Center, Lynchburg, Virginia
1996 UNC Greensboro (11–3) UNC Greensboro Vines Center
1997 UNC Asheville (11–3) Charleston Southern Vines Center
1998 UNC Asheville (11–1) Radford Vines Center
1999 Winthrop (9–1) Winthrop Asheville Civic Center, Asheville, North Carolina
2000 Radford (12–2) Winthrop Asheville Civic Center
2001 Radford (12–2) Winthrop Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia
2002 Winthrop (10–4) (#1 seed)

UNC Asheville (10–4)

Winthrop Roanoke Civic Center
2003 Winthrop (11–3) UNC Asheville Vines Center (semis & finals only)
2004 Liberty (12–4) Liberty Vines Center (finals only)
2005 Winthrop (15–1) Winthrop Winthrop Coliseum (finals only)
2006 Winthrop (13–3) Winthrop Winthrop Coliseum (semis & finals only)
2007 Winthrop (14–0) Winthrop Winthrop Coliseum (semis & finals only)
2008 UNC Asheville (10–4)(#1 seed)

Winthrop (10–4)

Winthrop Justice Center, Asheville (semis & finals only)
2009 Radford (15-3) Radford Dedmon Center, Radford, Virginia (finals only)
2010 Coastal Carolina (15–3) Winthrop Kimbel Arena, Conway, South Carolina (semis & finals only)
2011 Coastal Carolina (16-2) UNC Asheville Kimbel Arena (semis & finals only)
2012 UNC Asheville (16-2) UNC Asheville Kimmel Arena (quarters, semis & final), Asheville, North Carolina
2013 Charleston Southern, High Point (12-4) Liberty HTC Center, Conway, South Carolina
2014 High Point (12-4) Coastal Carolina HTC Center, Conway, South Carolina
2015 Charleston Southern, High Point (13–5) Coastal Carolina HTC Center, Conway, South Carolina
2016 High Point, Winthrop (13–5) UNC Asheville Gore Arena, Buies Creek, North Carolina

Basketball Tournament Championships by school

School # of Tournament Championships Last Tournament Championship
Winthrop 10 2010
Coastal Carolina 5 2015
UNC Asheville 5 2016
Charleston Southern 4 1997
Liberty 3 2013
Radford 2 2009
Campbell 1 1992
UNC Greensboro 1 1996
  • Former member of the Big South

Football

Season Champion Record
2002 Gardner–Webb 3–0
2003 Gardner–Webb 4–0
2004 Coastal Carolina 4–0 (10–1)
2005 Charleston Southern 3–1 (7–4)
Coastal Carolina 3–1 (9–2)
2006 Coastal Carolina 4–0 (9–3)
2007 Liberty 4–0 (8–3)
2008 Liberty 5–0 (10–2)
2009 Stony Brook 5–1 (6–5)
Liberty 5–1 (8–3)
2010 Coastal Carolina* 5–1 (6–5)
Stony Brook 5–1 (6–5)
Liberty 5–1 (8–3)
2011 Stony Brook 6-0 (8-3)
2012 Coastal Carolina* 5–1 (7–4)
Stony Brook 5–1 (9–2)
Liberty 5–1 (6–5)
2013 Coastal Carolina 4–1 (10–2)
Liberty 4–1 (8–4)
2014 Liberty* 4–1 (8–4)
Coastal Carolina 4–1 (11–1)
2015 Charleston Southern 6–0 (9–2)

Broadcasters (Big South Network)[edit]

In addition to basketball games being broadcast on regional and national television, member schools of the Big South Conference are required to provide a live stream of all home games for all sports when playing teams both within and outside of the conference. These streams are run by the university hosting the event. All streams are featured on the conference website and are available for free. The football games broadcast on the web are branded as part of a Big South Network.

National Champions[edit]

School Sport Coach Year Opponent Opponent's Conference
Coastal Carolina Baseball Gilmore, GaryGary Gilmore 2016 Arizona Pac-12

Facilities[edit]

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball stadium Capacity Soccer stadium Capacity
Campbell Sponsors football in Pioneer League John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center 3,095 Jim Perry Stadium 630 Eakes Athletic Complex 1,000
Charleston Southern Buccaneer Field 4,000 CSU Field House
North Charleston Coliseum
790
11,475
Buccaneer Ballpark 1,500 Buccaneer Field 4,000
Gardner–Webb Ernest W. Spangler Stadium 7,800 Paul Porter Arena 3,500 John Henry Moss Stadium 700 Greene–Harbison Stadium 1,000
High Point Non-football school Millis Athletic Convocation Center 1,750 George S. Erath Field at Coy O. Williard Baseball Stadium 700 Vert Track and Soccer Stadium 1,100
Kennesaw State Fifth Third Bank Stadium 8,300 Football-only member
Liberty Williams Stadium 19,200 Vines Center 8,085 Liberty Baseball Stadium 5000+ Osborne Stadium 1,000
Longwood Non-football school Willett Hall 1,807 Bolding Stadium 500 Longwood University Athletics Complex 350
Monmouth Kessler Field 4,600 Football-only member
Presbyterian Bailey Memorial Stadium 6,500 Templeton Physical Education Center 2,300 Presbyterian College Baseball Complex 500 Martin Stadium at Edens Field 400
Radford Non-football school Dedmon Center 3,205 Radford University Baseball Stadium 700 Patrick D. Cupp Stadium 5,000
UNC Asheville Non-Football School Kimmel Arena 3,200 Greenwood Baseball Field,
McCormick Field
300,
4,000
Greenwood Field 1,000
Winthrop Non-football school Winthrop Coliseum 6,100 Winthrop Ballpark 1,989 Eagle Field 1,500
Notes
  • Charleston Southern uses the CSU Field House for all conference basketball games. Home games against local rivals or major-conference teams are played at the North Charleston Coliseum when available.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Big South Conference (2007-08-01). "Big South Conference History". Big South Sports. 
  2. ^ a b Big South Conference (2008-07-01). "Gardner–Webb Officially Joins Big South". Big South Sports. 
  3. ^ Big South Conference (2012-01-23). "Big South Conference Adds Longwood University As Full Member". Big South Sports. 
  4. ^ a b Stretlow, Bret (28 October 2014). "Title race in balanced Big South again tough to predict". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Statement from Big South Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander on Coastal Carolina" (Press release). Big South Conference. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Big South and ASUN Conference Establish FCS Membership Partnership" (Press release). ASUN Conference. September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Kennesaw State Football Joins Big South Conference as Associate Member" (Press release). Kennesaw State Athletics. September 4, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ Big South Conference Adds Longwood; Goes to Divisional Play for 2012-13 Season
  9. ^ http://www.bigsouthsports.com/HomePage.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4800
  10. ^ http://www.bigsouthsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4800&ATCLID=205672104

External links[edit]