CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - The Big South Conference has added Longwood University as a full member effective with the 2012-13 academic year, it was announced today by the Conference's Council of Chief Executive Officers. Longwood's addition increases the Big South membership to 12 institutions for the first time in League history.
"On behalf of all the Presidents and Chancellors of the Big South Conference, I am very pleased to welcome Longwood University as the newest member of our conference," stated Penelope W. Kyle, Big South President and Radford University President. "Longwood will be a tremendous addition to our conference, both athletically and academically."
Longwood sponsors 14 varsity sports at the Division I level, 13 of which are sponsored by the Big South: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's tennis, baseball, softball, men's and women's golf, and women's lacrosse. Only women's field hockey (NorPac) will not compete in the Big South Conference.
"We are excited and thrilled that Longwood University has been invited to join the Big South conference," stated Longwood President Patrick Finnegan. "We believe that participation in the Big South will enhance school spirit by developing rivalries both in state and beyond, will boost our recruiting abilities, and will allow us to demonstrate the skill of our student-athletes in a conference setting where they could be rewarded with participation in NCAA tournaments.
"By limiting the travel time for our student-athletes through conference play close to home, we will be able to continue to put the 'student' first. We look forward to showing that our Lancers can be competitive both on the field of play and in the classroom, while increasing the visibility for our outstanding institution."
Since becoming a full-fledged member of Division I in 2007, and without conference affiliation in all sports, Longwood has compiled a winning record of 564-552-27 (.505) through the recent fall season. Additional highlights include the men's golf team earning an invitation to the 2007 NCAA East Regional in its first year of eligibility; men's basketball finishing 17-14 during 2008-09; softball posting a record of 37-13 last spring (2011) and 73-29 over the last two seasons; and the baseball program compiling a record of 82-60 over the past three years (2009-11). In addition, Longwood has won two Atlantic Soccer Conference Championships (2008, 2011) in men's soccer, two National Lacrosse Conference Championships (2009-10) in women's lacrosse, and one United Soccer Conference Championship (2008) in women's soccer.
"Longwood University will be an outstanding member of the Big South Conference," said Big South Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander. "Longwood features strong leadership, an outstanding academic reputation, a commitment to Division I athletic success, and 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."
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 based in North Carolina (Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point, UNC Asheville) and South Carolina (Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Presbyterian College, Winthrop).
Longwood is 77-73-8 (.513) in competition against current Big South Conference members since 2007. This includes winning records in men's basketball (7-6), softball (19-11) and women's soccer (14-8-3).
ABOUT LONGWOOD UNIVERSITY (www.longwood.edu)
Located in Farmville, Va., Longwood University is home to more than 4,200 students from 35 states and 14 foreign countries. Longwood University combines a private university experience with the affordability of a state university. A state-assisted, co-educational university, Longwood offers students a choice of more than 100 undergraduate majors, minors and concentrations. Graduate programs include business, education, English, sociology and communication sciences & disorders. Longwood has one of the highest job placement rates among public institutions in Virginia. It also is one of only a few in the nation to require internships or research projects for every student in every major.
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