The Thundering Herd and Mountaineers are part of the return of Men’s Soccer to the Sun Belt Conference
By Bill Cornwell
Marshall University and West Virginia University are again members of the same athletic conference–for one sport.
The Thundering Herd and Mountaineers were announced today as two of the nine schools that will be part of the return of Men’s Soccer to the Sun Belt Conference.
Marshall is joining the Sun Belt as an all-sports member on July 1st while WVU will only play Men’s Soccer in the Sun Belt.
The Sun Belt Conference last offered men’s soccer as a championship sport in 2020 but had only four soccer-playing members at the time.
Besides Marshall and WVU, Sun Belt Men’s Soccer will also feature Kentucky, South Carolina, James Madison, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern.
WVU, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Coastal Carolina were soccer-only members of Conference USA, joining Marshall and Old Dominion.
Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill says the return of men’s soccer only adds to the national stature of the league.
“These elite programs will lend instant credibility and help establish the Sun Belt as one of the nation’s premier men’s collegiate soccer conferences,” said Commissioner Keith Gill. “They each bring their unique traditions and histories of excellence. We welcome them and look forward to a bright future on the pitch.”
The Sun Belt Conference men’s soccer membership features some of the nation’s most accomplished programs. The nine teams have combined for more than 100 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances.
Marshall claimed the 2020 NCAA Championship, becoming the first unseeded team to accomplish the feat in nearly 15 years. West Virginia has appeared in 15 NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the national quarterfinal last fall. South Carolina is one of just 24 programs all-time to make 20 or more NCAA Tournament appearances, finishing as national runners-up in 1993.
Marshall’s first Sun Belt Conference game is scheduled for September 17th at Kentucky, while WVU opens league play that same day with a home match against Coastal Carolina.