Coastal Carolina made one of the biggest moves in athletic department history official on Tuesday, announcing the school’s addition to the Sun Belt Conference as its 12th member. Coastal Carolina will join the league in 2016-17 for all sports but football and make its gridiron debut in 2017.
With UAB returning to the field in 2017, the Chanticleers’ addition will bump the total number of FBS teams to 130. It should be noted that since Coastal Carolina’s football transition will begin in 2017, the team won’t be eligible for the postseason until 2018.
On the football field, Coastal Carolina is led by Joe Moglia, a former CEO of Ameritrade who has taken the team to the national quarterfinals each of the last two seasons. According to USA Today, the Sun Belt had been looking to add a 12th member for several months and chose Coastal Carolina over Eastern Kentucky.
“On behalf of all of us at Coastal Carolina University, I’m honored to accept the invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference,” CCU President David A. DeCenzo said Tuesday. “I am grateful to Sun Belt Commissioner, Mr. Karl Benson, for his steadfast support of CCU, and to the Sun Belt presidents and chancellors, who honored CCU by selecting their 12th member school.”
The @SunBelt Conference membership map with football affiliate members. #FunBelt pic.twitter.com/KSI00tUnJU
— #TogetherWeRise (@SunBelt) September 1, 2015
The basketball team has also experienced recent success under former Clemson and Auburn coach Cliff Ellis. After back-to-back Big South titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, Coastal Carolina will be considered a threat on the hardwood when it joins the Sun Belt for the 2016-17 season.