After eight years in the Atlantic 10, it’s official. The Charlotte 49ers are back in Conference USA, the league they left in 2005 to join the A-10. The countdown is over–a new era in Charlotte athletics has begun. Football will make the jump in 2015 when they move from FCS independent to FBS.
Here’s some quick facts about C-USA:
Commissioner: Britton Banowsky
Founded: 1995, with the merger of the Metro Conference and the Great Midwest Conference. UAB, Southern Miss and Tulane are the only remaining members of the conference from 1995; out of those three, Tulane is moving to The American next year.
States covered: Alabama (1), Florida (2), Louisiana (2), Mississippi (1), Oklahoma (1) North Carolina (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (4), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1)
Largest metro in C-USA: Houston (6+ million)
Smallest metro: Hattiesburg, MS (about 150,000)
Largest school by enrollment: FIU (almost 48,000)
Smallest school by enrollment: Tulsa (just over 4500)
As mentioned, Charlotte will participate in all sports right away, except football, which will join the league in 2015.
There are certain to be memories made in the new league, just as there were in the A-10. But for now, the book closes on A-10 membership, setting up a new chapter for Niner Nation and its fans.