FARMVILLE, VA. – Big South Conference officials announced today that Longwood University will become the League's 12th member as of July 1, 2012. Longwood has competed as a NCAA Division I Independent since 2007.
Longwood was invited to join the conference following a vote by the Big South Council of Chief Executive Officers. Longwood's addition increases the Big South membership to 12 institutions for the first time in League history.
"Longwood University will be an outstanding member of the Big South Conference," said Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. "Longwood features strong leadership, an outstanding academic reputation, and a commitment to Division I athletic success. It also values student-athlete well-being. These are all characteristics that are shared by Big South members and make Longwood a wonderful fit. We are excited to welcome the Longwood Lancers to the Big South family."
Longwood sponsors 14 intercollegiate Division I sports, 13 of which are sponsored by the Big South: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, along with men's and women's tennis. The Lancers' field hockey program will continue to compete within the Northern Pacific Field Hockey Conference (NorPac), as it has since 2005.
Since becoming Division I-eligible in 2007, Longwood is 77-73-8 (.513) in competition against current Big South members in its league-sponsored sports. This includes winning records in men's basketball (7-6), softball (19-11) and women's soccer (14-8-3). Also facing Big South teams since 2007 were baseball (10-12), women's basketball (12-13), men's soccer (8-9-4), men's tennis (4-7) and women's tennis (3-7).
Overall since 2007, and without conference affiliation in all sports, the Lancers have compiled a winning record of 564-552-27 (.505) through the recent fall sports. Highlights include
• Men's Golf: Invitation to the 2007 NCAA East Regional in the program's 1st year of eligibility
• Men's Basketball: 17-14 record in 2008-09
• Softball: 37-13 record in spring 2011 and 73-29 over the last two seasons (2010, 2011)
• Baseball: 82-60 over the past three seasons (2009, 2010, 2011)
• Men's Soccer: Two Atlantic Soccer Conference Championships (2008, 2011)
• Women's Lacrosse: Two National Lacrosse Conference Championships (2009, 2010)
• Women's Soccer: One United Soccer Conference Championship (2008)
With the addition of Longwood, the Big South Conference will now have four members based in Virginia (Liberty, Longwood, Radford, VMI), as well as four each in North Carolina (Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point, UNC Asheville) and South Carolina (Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Presbyterian College, Winthrop).
Founded in 1983, the Big South Conference has matured into a competitive leader in college athletics, actively pursuing excellence on the field of play and in the classroom. With a motto of "Developing Leaders Through Athletics," the Big South Conference continues to succeed on the field through its 19 championship sports while intentionally fostering the academic, personal, social, athletic and leadership development of its student-athletes. The institutions of the Big South Conference -- Campbell University, Charleston Southern University, Coastal Carolina University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Liberty University, Presbyterian College, Radford University, UNC Asheville, Virginia Military Institute and Winthrop University -- have a remarkable history of achievement. The Big South will begin sponsoring women's lacrosse in 2012-13.