Conference Carolinas

Conference Carolinas is an NCAA Division II athletics conference founded on Dec. 6, 1930, with member schools located in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Conference Carolinas member institutions are Barton, Belmont Abbey, Chowan, Converse, Emmanuel, Erskine, King, Lees-McRae, Mount Olive, North Greenville and Southern Wesleyan. Conference Carolinas believes in the development and formation of the whole person in body, mind and soul. Conference Carolinas students are nationally recognized for their extraordinary success in the classroom, in the community and at the highest levels of NCAA competition.

Conference Carolinas
Conference Carolinas logo
DivisionDivision II
Members11 (13 in 2021)
Sports fielded
  • 22
    • men's: 11 (1 emerging)
    • women's: 11
RegionNorth Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia
Former namesNorth State Conference (1930–1961)
Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1961–1995)
Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (1995–2007)
HeadquartersGreenville, South Carolina
CommissionerChris Colvin
Conference Carolinas locations


Conference Carolinas
Location of Conference Carolinas members:   full,   future

Conference Carolinas was founded on Dec. 6, 1930. The conference was formed then as an athletic association "for the greater advantage of the small colleges in North Carolina."

The official name given back then was the North State Intercollegiate Conference, but it was known informally as the Old North State Conference. The birthplace was the Washington Duke Hotel in Durham, N.C. and the seven charter and founding members were Appalachian State, Atlantic Christian (now Barton College), Catawba, Guilford, Elon, High Point and Lenoir-Rhyne.

The conference followed a policy of expansion for a period of time. Western Carolina became a member in 1933, East Carolina in 1947, Pfeiffer in 1960, Newberry in 1961 and Presbyterian in 1964, followed closely by Mars Hill.

With the acceptance of the first member from South Carolina in Newberry College, a name change became necessary. On May 20, 1961 the official name of the conference was changed to the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAC), but it was commonly known less formerly as the Carolinas Conference. East Carolina resigned in 1962 to join the NCAA Division I Southern Conference and Appalachian State and Western Carolina followed. Football sponsorship in Carolinas Conference was dropped in 1973 when Lenoir-Rhyne, Newberry, Presbyterian and Mars Hill joined the South Atlantic Conference.

Pembroke State University became a first-time member in 1976 followed by Wingate College in 1979. Lenoir-Rhyne rejoined in 1984. While Guilford College withdrew in 1988, St. Andrews and Mount Olive were added that same year.

The 1989–90 academic year started a new era as Catawba, Elon, Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate all withdrew to compete in the first year that the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference would provide championships in all sports.

The Carolinas Conference then added Belmont Abbey in 1989, Coker College in 1991 and Lees-McRae in 1993.

The 1993–94 academic year brought a change to the conference's national affiliation. The conference entered dual membership into both the NAIA and NCAA Division II.

The 1995-96 year brought dramatic change to the conference. First, full membership into NCAA Division II was acquired. The 1995–96 academic year was the first official year of full competition and championship play for the conference in NCAA Division II status. Secondly, this was also the same year that Erskine, Longwood and Queens were accepted as full members of the conference.

With Longwood becoming the first Virginia member, another name change occurred and the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (known more universally as the "CVAC") was born.

Following the 1997 academic year High Point resigned to join the NCAA Division I ranks while in 1998 Limestone soon joined. They were quickly followed by Anderson in 1999.

In 2003, Longwood University left the conference to explore possibilities in NCAA Division I. Then in 2005 the CVAC added Converse College as an affiliate member. Converse became a full member starting in the 2007–08 season.

With the lone Virginia school in Longwood leaving, the league decided to go back to their roots and change their name to Conference Carolinas in 2007. On June 1, 2011, King College and North Greenville University became official members of the conference and opened the conference to its first Tennessee member in King.

Southern Wesleyan joined the league officially as a full NCAA Division II member on July 1, 2016 after going through the national membership process with Conference Carolinas. The league opened up their sponsorship to Southern Wesleyan where the Warriors played a full conference regular season schedule for three years (2013) prior to full NCAA DII membership.

Emmanuel College joined Conference Carolinas July 13, 2018 after also going through the full NCAA Division II membership process. Within that process, the Lions played fives years (2013) in which their games counted towards regular season standings without eligibility for league championships.

Chowan University became a full Conference Carolinas member starting in the 2019–20 academic year. Chowan was an associate member for the sports of men's & women's lacrosse, women's golf, men's & women's soccer, baseball, men's & women's swimming and men's & women's tennis before joining Conference Carolinas from the CIAA.

Conference Carolinas will feature 11 members in the 2020–21 academic year before expanding to 13 teams for the 2021–22 academic year with the addition of Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke. Francis Marion will be first-time members of Conference Carolinas, while this will be UNC Pembroke's second time as a member of Conference Carolinas (1976–92).

Many institutions have been members of the league during its rich history overall, including Anderson, Appalachian State, Barton (formerly Atlantic Christian), Belmont Abbey, Catawba, Chowan, Coker, Converse, East Carolina, Emmanuel, Erskine, Guilford, Elon, High Point, King, Lees-McRae, Lenoir-Rhyne, Limestone, Longwood, Mars Hill, Mount Olive, Newberry, North Greenville, Pembroke State/UNC Pembroke, Pfeiffer, Presbyterian, Queens, Southern Wesleyan, St. Andrews, Western Carolina and Wingate.

Barton is the only remaining charter member followed in longevity by Mount Olive joining in 1988.

Francis Marion University and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke announced that they would leave the Peach Belt Conference to join Conference Carolinas, beginning in the 2021–22 school year. Francis Marion will be first-time members of Conference Carolinas, while this will be UNC Pembroke's second time as a member of Conference Carolinas (1976–92).

Member schoolsEdit

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
Barton College Wilson, North Carolina 1902 Private (Disciples of Christ) 1,200 Bulldogs           1930
Belmont Abbey College Belmont, North Carolina 1876 Private (Catholic) 1,320 Crusaders           1989
Chowan University Murfreesboro, North Carolina 1848 Private (Baptist) 1,316 Hawks           2019
Converse College Spartanburg, South Carolina 1889 Private (Nonsectarian) 750 Valkyries           2007
Emmanuel College Franklin Springs, Georgia 1919 Private (Pentecostal) 760 Lions           2018
Erskine College Due West, South Carolina 1839 Private (Reformed Presbyterian) 920 Flying Fleet           1995
King University Bristol, Tennessee 1867 Private (Evangelical Presbyterian) 1,800 Tornados           2011
Lees–McRae College Banner Elk, North Carolina 1899 Private (Presbyterian) 800 Bobcats           1993
University of Mount Olive Mount Olive, North Carolina 1951 Private (Free Will Baptist) 2,500 Trojans           1988
North Greenville University Tigerville, South Carolina 1891 Private (Baptist) 2,100 Crusaders           2011
Southern Wesleyan University Central, South Carolina 1908 Private (Wesleyan) 1,616 Warriors                2016

Future membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joining Current
Francis Marion University Florence, South Carolina 1970 Public 4,187 Patriots                2021 Peach Belt
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, North Carolina 1887 Public 7,698 Braves           2021[a] Peach Belt
  1. ^ UNC Pembroke had been a conference member from 1976 to 1992 under its previous name of Pembroke State University.

Affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
Coker University Hartsville, South Carolina 1908 Private (Nonsectarian) 1,000 Cobras           2018 wrestling South Atlantic
Limestone University Gaffney, South Carolina 1845 Private (Christian) 3,300 Saints           2020 wrestling South Atlantic
Newberry College Newberry, South Carolina 1856 Private (Lutheran ELCA) 1,070 Wolves           2018 wrestling South Atlantic
Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina 1857 Private (Nonsectarian) 2,100 Royals           2018 wrestling South Atlantic

Former membersEdit

School names and nicknames reflect those in use during the final year each institution was a member.

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Current
Anderson University Anderson, South Carolina 1911 Private Trojans 1998 2010 South Atlantic
Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina 1899 Public
Mountaineers 1930 1968 Sun Belt
Catawba College Salisbury, North Carolina 1851 Private Indians 1930 1989 South Atlantic
Coker College[b] Hartsville, South Carolina 1908 Private Cobras 1991 2013 South Atlantic
East Carolina College[c] Greenville, North Carolina 1907 Public
Pirates 1947 1962 The American
Elon College[d] Elon, North Carolina 1889 Private Phoenix 1930 1989 Colonial Athletic
Guilford College Greensboro, North Carolina 1837 Private Quakers 1930 1988 Old Dominion
High Point University High Point, North Carolina 1924 Private Panthers 1930 1997 Big South
Lenoir–Rhyne College[e] Hickory, North Carolina 1891 Private Bears 1930;
South Atlantic
Limestone College[f] Gaffney, South Carolina 1845 Private Saints 1998 2020 South Atlantic
Longwood University Farmville, Virginia 1839 Public Lancers 1995 2003 Big South
Mars Hill College[g] Mars Hill, North Carolina 1856 Private Lions 1972;
South Atlantic
Newberry College Newberry, South Carolina 1856 Private Wolves 1961 1972 South Atlantic
Pembroke State University[h] Pembroke, North Carolina 1887 Public
Braves 1976 1992[j] Peach Belt
Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, North Carolina 1885 Private Falcons 1960 2017 USA South
Presbyterian College Clinton, South Carolina 1880 Private Blue Hose 1965 1973 Big South
Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina 1857 Private Royals 1995 2013 South Atlantic
St. Andrews University Laurinburg, North Carolina 1958 Private Knights 1988 2012 Appalachian
Western Carolina University Cullowhee, North Carolina 1889 Public
Catamounts 1933 1969 Southern
Wingate College[k] Wingate, North Carolina 1896 Private Bulldogs 1979 1989 South Atlantic
  1. ^ a b c Appalachian State, East Carolina, and Western Carolina did not become part of the University of North Carolina system until 1972, after all had left the conference.
  2. ^ Known since 2019 as Coker University.
  3. ^ Known since 1967 as East Carolina University.
  4. ^ Known since 2001 as Elon University. The "Elon College" name is now applied to the university's college of arts and sciences.
  5. ^ Known since 2008 as Lenoir–Rhyne University.
  6. ^ Known since 2020 as Limestone University.
  7. ^ Known since 2013 as Mars Hill University.
  8. ^ Known since 1996 as the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
  9. ^ Pembroke State (now UNC Pembroke) became part of the UNC system in 1972, before joining the conference.
  10. ^ Pembroke State will return to CC in 2021 under its current identity of UNC Pembroke.
  11. ^ Known since 1995 as Wingate University.

Membership timelineEdit

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 


When Barton became the sixth member to sponsor men's volleyball in 2011–12, Conference Carolinas became the fourth official scholarship-granting conference in NCAA men's volleyball. It also became the first all-sports conference (i.e., one that sponsors men's and women's basketball) ever to sponsor men's volleyball as a scholarship sport,[1] and is also the first men's volleyball conference to consist solely of Division II members. No D-I all-sports conference sponsored the sport until the Big West Conference launched a men's volleyball league in the 2018 season (2017–18 school year).

Conference Carolinas sponsors intercollegiate athletic competition in the following sports:

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball  Y
Basketball  Y  Y
Cross Country  Y  Y
Golf  Y  Y
Lacrosse  Y  Y
Soccer  Y  Y
Softball  Y
Swimming & Diving  Y  Y
Tennis  Y  Y
Track & Field Indoor  Y  Y
Track & Field Outdoor  Y  Y
Volleyball  Y  Y
Wrestling  Y

In field hockey and wrestling, Conference Carolinas and the South Atlantic Conference operate as a single league, holding joint conference tournaments in each sport. As noted previously, CC operates only the wrestling championship.

Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track
& Field
& Field
Volleyball [a] Wrestling Total
Barton  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Belmont Abbey  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Chowan  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Emmanuel  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 12
Erskine  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
King  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Lees–McRae  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Mount Olive  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
North Greenville  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Southern Wesleyan  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Totals 9 10 10 9 7 10 5 10 8 8 8 4 99
Affiliate members
Coker  Y 1
Limestone  Y 1
Newberry  Y 1
Queens  Y 1
Future members
Francis Marion  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
UNC Pembroke  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
  1. ^ De facto Division I sport. The NCAA operates a combined Division I/II championship in men's volleyball, and scholarship limits in that sport are the same for members of both divisions.

Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Basketball Cross
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track
& Field
& Field
Volleyball Total
Barton  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Belmont Abbey  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Chowan  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Converse  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Emmanuel  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Erskine  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
King  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Lees–McRae  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Mount Olive  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
North Greenville  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Southern Wesleyan  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Totals 11 11 10 10 11 11 6 11 9 9 11 110
Future members
Francis Marion  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
UNC Pembroke  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9

Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit

Future members Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke in gray.

School Men Women
Football Golf Bowling [a] Field
Belmont Abbey IND SAC
Converse SAC
Francis Marion [b]
North Greenville GSC
UNC Pembroke MEC
  1. ^ De facto Division I sport. The NCAA operates a single bowling championship open to members of all three divisions, and schools in Divisions I and II operate under the same scholarship limits in that sport.
  2. ^ Francis Marion men's golf currently plays as a Division I independent.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lopes, Vinnie (April 4, 2014). "The Little Conference That Could". Volleyball Magazine. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.

External linksEdit