This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (August 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
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.
|Members||11 (13 in 2021)|
|Region||North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia|
|Former names||North State Conference (1930–1961)|
Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1961–1995)
Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (1995–2007)
|Headquarters||Greenville, South Carolina|
|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).
|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|
- UNC Pembroke had been a conference member from 1976 to 1992 under its previous name of Pembroke State University.
|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|
School names and nicknames reflect those in use during the final year each institution was a member.
- 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.
- Known since 2019 as Coker University.
- Known since 1967 as East Carolina University.
- Known since 2001 as Elon University. The "Elon College" name is now applied to the university's college of arts and sciences.
- Known since 2008 as Lenoir–Rhyne University.
- Known since 2020 as Limestone University.
- Known since 2013 as Mars Hill University.
- Known since 1996 as the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
- Pembroke State (now UNC Pembroke) became part of the UNC system in 1972, before joining the conference.
- Pembroke State will return to CC in 2021 under its current identity of UNC Pembroke.
- Known since 1995 as Wingate University.
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, 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:
|Swimming & Diving|
|Track & Field Indoor|
|Track & Field Outdoor|
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
- 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
Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit
Future members Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke in gray.
- 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.
- Francis Marion men's golf currently plays as a Division I independent.
- NCAA Men's National Collegiate Volleyball Championship, in which the CC champion receives an automatic berth