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).
Another Texas team (the third) wraps up our countdown to C-USA. UTSA will be another one of the new kids on the block, as they’re making the jump from the WAC along with La. Tech. Actually, the move to the WAC was pretty much a pit stop to get its football program to FBS because the Southland (the conference they were in before that) didn’t sponsor the sport.
Sport-by-sport year in review:
Football (8-4, 3-3)
Home Field: Alamodome
The 2013 season will be UTSA’s third season in program history and its second in FBS. It holds the distinction of being in a different conference for each year of its existence (FCS independent in 2011 and WAC last year). They made a splash by hiring former Miami head coach Larry Coker, who won a national championship with the U in 2001.
Men’s Basketball (10-22, 3-14)
Home Court: Convocation Center
The basketball team’s lone season in the WAC was a disappointing one, but they made some noise in the conference tournament as they were a win shy of the championship game. Like the football team, they’re headed for their third conference in three years, leaving the Southland in 2012 for the WAC before their pending move to C-USA.
Women’s Basketball (16-14, 10-8)
Home Court: Convocation Center
After a struggle in their final Southland season (4-12), the ladies put together a respectable WAC season, finishing 10-8 and fourth in the league standings before being blown out by future C-USA foe Louisiana Tech in the first round of the conference tournament.
Baseball (35-25, 15-11)
Home Field: Wolff Stadium
For the baseball team, the WAC was certainly good to them in the end. Taking a four seed into the conference tourney, they topped Sacramento State in walkoff fashion (in 14 innings) and run-ruled San Jose State before outdueling CSU Bakersfield in the semis and dropping Dallas Baptist in the final to win the title and punch their ticket to regionals. They were swept by Oregon State and Texas A&M, but have their sights on returning to the tournament as a member of C-USA.
Softball (27-26, 9-12)
Home Field: Roadrunner Field
The softball team took a five seed into the WAC tournament, where they beat Texas State before falling to San Jose State and UT Arlington in the double-elimination competition.
Men’s Soccer (N/A)
UTEP does not field a men’s soccer team.
Volleyball (21-9, 13-5), despite a strong WAC season, couldn’t capitalize and were a one-and-one to Idaho in the tournament’s first round…Women’s soccer (3-12-2, 2-4-2) gave nationally ranked Texas A&M a battle before falling 2-0, one of the few highlights in an otherwise tough season…Men’s golf departed the WAC as the 4th place finisher in the conference tournament. J.J. Lindsey and Garrison Lackey tied for 5th overall…Men’s tennis fell to Idaho in the WAC semifinals, while the women exited in the first round, dropping a match to nationally-ranked San Jose State…In track and field, Nathan Collier (men’s 1500m), Joshua Smith (400m hurdles) and Kerry Thompson (men’s high jump), along with Eboni Johnson (women’s triple jump), were among the UTSA athletes that advanced from the WAC’s to the NCAA West Regionals. Smith would advance to the national championships in Eugene, Oregon…Women’s cross country was a 2nd place finisher in the WAC championships, and took a strong 5th place in the regional meet. The men finished six out of seven teams in WAC’s.