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).
University of Southern Mississippi
Nickname(s): Golden Eagles
Location: Hattiesburg, MS –pop. 46,626
Enrollment: 17,961 (fall 2011)
Southern Miss has been in Conference USA since the beginning, a charter member along with Tulane and UAB and, after 2014, the only surviving member from the original league along with the Blazers. This was after time in the old Metro Conference where they competed against teams like Charlotte (FBS independent in football).
Sport-by-sport year in review:
Football (0-12, 0-8)
Home field: M. M. Roberts Stadium
No program on the Southern Miss campus has been as successful as the football team, which has won two national championships during its history and can count future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre as one of its own. However, they’re a long way from where they were–going winless in 2012 and now on their third coach in as many seasons. Can former Oklahoma State OC Todd Monken lead them back to the top of the pack?
Men’s Basketball (27-10, 12-4)
Home court: Reed Green Stadium
After Larry Eustachy departed for Colorado State after leading the Golden Eagles to the NCAA tournament in 2012, Donnie Tyndall took over and steered the squad to the third round of the NIT, where they lost to BYU. It was the fourth straight 20-win season (second straight of at least 25 wins) for a program that looks like it will do quite well for itself for the next few years. Tyndall would end the season as the NABC District 11 Coach of the Year for his efforts, while senior Dwayne Davis placed on the C-USA First Team.
Women’s Basketball (15-16, 6-10)
Home court: Reed Green Stadium
The 2012-13 season was another disappointing one for the women’s basketball team, as they were never able to establish consistent footing during the season. They did top Memphis in the C-USA tournament first round before succumbing to ECU in the 2nd round.
Baseball (30-27, 15-9)
Home field: Pete Taylor Park
It was a heartbreaker of an ending for the baseball team as they fell to Rice in the C-USA championship game, 5-4, in 11 innings on a Keenan Cook RBI single. That’s sure to sting for the Golden Eagles, but for a team that went to nine straight regionals from 2003-11 (and a College World Series in 2009), success is no stranger.
Softball (14-41, 4-18)
Home field: Southern Miss Softball Stadium
After winning seven conference games in 2009, the softball team has won just four C-USA games in three straight seasons.
Men’s Soccer (N/A)
Southern Miss does not field a men’s soccer team.
Volleyball (8-20, 4-12) struggled through a seven-game conference losing streak that turned out to be its undoing…Women’s soccer (4-12-1, 1-9-1) struggled away from home, going just 1-7-1 outside of Hattiesburg…Men’s golf finished 9th out of 12 in the C-USA Championships. Kevin Brady was their top finisher, placing 18th…In tennis, the men failed to qualify for the conference tourament, while the women were dispatched in the first round…Track and field saw the men place 7th and the women take 12th in the conference meet, with Kyle Smith (javelin) eventually qualifying for the NCAA Championships…Women’s cross country finished a strong 6th in the C-USA meet, which Southern Miss hosted last time.