July 1 will be an important day for the Charlotte 49ers as it will be their first back in Conference USA. So running until the 30th, we’re taking a look at all the C-USA teams going in alphabetical order-from ECU to UTSA. We’ll also profile the affiliate members (Kentucky, New Mexico and South Carolina-men’s soccer; Colorado College-women’s soccer).
Louisiana Tech University
Nickname(s): Bulldogs, Lady Techsters
Location: Ruston, LA–pop. 21,859
La. Tech joins Conference USA after competing in the Western Athletic Conference since 2001. Tech brings with them a rich history in athletics that is sure to continue in C-USA. Joining La. Tech in their transition from the WAC will be UTSA, our final subject in our countdown.
Sport-by-sport year in review
Football (9-3, 4-2)
Home field: Joe Aillet Stadium
After starting with a 9-1 record, the Bulldogs’ season ended in heartbreak. As if dropping their last two contests weren’t painful enough, La. Tech was the lone bowl eligible school to not play in a bowl game (read more about it: here). The Bulldogs enter C-USA in rebuilding mode as they lost their coach Sonny Dykes to Cal and most of their starters to graduation or the draft. Former ECU and USF coach Skip Holtz has taken over the program with the hope of reviving his career in Ruston.
Men’s Basketball (27-7, 16-2)
Home court: Thomas Assembly Center
Tech’s men’s basketball team also encountered some heartbreak. After earning a share of the WAC regular season title, the #1 seeded Bulldogs were upset by the #9 seeded UTSA Roadrunners in the quarterfinals of the WAC tournament. With a record of 26-6 the team earned an invitation to the NIT, where they defeated Florida State in the first round before losing to future conference-mate Southern Mississippi in the second round.
Women’s Basketball (14-17, 9-9)
Home court: Thomas Assembly Center
The Lady Techsters are Louisiana Tech’s most storied sports program having won three national titles in the 1980s. Two years removed from an NCAA tournament berth in 2011, the Lady Techsters have compiled a record of 31-32 over that time.
Baseball (19-37, 6-21)
Home field: J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park
The 2013 season was one to forget for the Bulldogs on the diamond. Finishing with a record of 19-37 and only 6 league wins, they were unable to earn a berth in the WAC tournament.
Softball (27-26, 11-10)
Home field: Lady Techster Softball Complex
In 2013, the Lady Techster softball team recorded its first winning season since 2010 and only its fourth winning season in conference play since joining the WAC. The Lady Techster’s bats were silenced in WAC tournament play and they were eliminated while only scoring a total of two runs.
Men’s Soccer (N/A)
Home field: N/A
Louisiana Tech does not field a men’s soccer team.
Women’s soccer (12-5-4, 3-3-2) also had a tough end to their season. The Lady Techsters scored an own goal in the first round of the WAC tournament that resulted in a 2-1 defeat to Seattle…Men’s golf finished in 10th place in the Club Glove WAC Championship…Women’s tennis were defeated in the semifinals of the WAC tournament by SJSU…Track and field sent multiple athletes to the NCAA championships. The men’s 4×100 relay team finished 12th overall, hurdler Yusuf Muhammed finished 18th, and Kim Francis finished 21st in the 100m hurdles…Women’s bowling finished their season by placing 23rd in their final tournament, the Music City Classic.