The Sun Belt Athletic Conference announced earlier today that it will be adding a new associate member beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year.
Conference Commissioner Karl Benson made the announcement that the University of Central Arkansas will join the league specifically in men’s soccer as of next season.
UCA’s admission makes them the sixth member of men’s soccer within the Sun Belt, alongside Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State and fellow associate member Howard.
"The Sun Belt is excited to have Central Arkansas and its men’s soccer program join our conference as an associate member," Commissioner Benson said in an article released by the Sun Belt.
He added that the noticeable growth both on the soccer field and in the classrooms of UCA made it an easy decision to welcome the Bears to the conference.
Central Arkansas will make the move to the Sun Belt from the Missouri Valley conference, where they are currently in their ninth season as an associate member. During their time in the Missouri Valley, they have claimed one conference title that led to their only appearance in the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Soccer Championship, both of which occured in 2017, signaling the uprising of their program.
“We certainly appreciate our years in the Missouri Valley Conference," UCA's Director of Athletics, Dr. Brad Teague, said in an article released by the Sun Belt. "But we are very excited to join the Sun Belt Conference."
Teague added that he hopes for the Bears’ soccer team to be a valuable addition to a very competitive Sun Belt league.
Ryan Pye, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, email@example.com