A PROUD HISTORY; A promising future
Conference USA was formed in 1995 and quickly emerged as one of the nation’s top conferences. The conference unveiled its name, logo and commissioner on April 24, 1995 in Chicago. The league’s charter members included Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Saint Louis, Southern Miss, Tulane, UAB and USF. Eleven of the institutions began athletic participation in 1995, while Houston joined competition in the fall of 1996.
The league’s headquarters were established in Chicago and after nine years, relocated to the current office in Irving, Texas.
C-USA added East Carolina (September, 1996) and the United States Military Academy (March, 1997) as football members. ECU began league competition in 1997; Army in 1998 and UAB began football play in 1999. The league added TCU and ECU (1999) for all sports and they began competition in 2001. USF started C-USA football in 2003.
After celebrating its 10th Anniversary during the 2004-05 season, C-USA began a new chapter in 2005-06 when adding Tulsa, SMU, Rice, UTEP, Marshall and UCF to its membership and came together to form the new look of the league.
Since its formation, C-USA has established a strong foundation, an identity and a history that reflects the league’s national presence. C-USA’s remarkable history has reinforced the league’s position in collegiate athletics, setting the course for the next decade and beyond.
Conference USA marked its 15-year milestone in 2009-10
Conference USA marked its 15-year milestone in 2009-10 and is still going strong. From the beginning, dedication to excellence has been the league’s guiding principle and remains today a common thread for a promising future. C-USA is home to 12 nationally prominent, tradition-rich members in East Carolina, Houston, Marshall, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UCF and UTEP. This combination enhances men's and women's programs that are immersed in athletic success and academic prowess. Together, we are committed to excellence, integrity and leadership in athletics, academics and in our communities.
All C-USA institutions sponsor Division I-A football, along with several other men's and women's athletic programs, many of which compete regularly for NCAA Championships. C-USA sponsors competition in 20 sports - nine for men (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and indoor and outdoor track and field) and 10 for women (basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, softball, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball).
SUCCESS ON THE PLAYING FIELD
Conference USA performers have achieved great success in competition, placing the league among the top conferences in the nation.
56 teams have earned bowl bids
Member of the Bowl Championship Series
Bowl tie-ins with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, EagleBank Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl, St. Petersburg Bowl and Dallas Football Classic
Consistently rated as one of the top basketball leagues in the country
90 postseason teams (45 NCAA and 38 NIT, 5 CBI, 2 CIT)
One National Championship title game appearance
Three Final Four teams
Seven Elite Eight NCAA Tournament teams
One NIT Champion and four NIT semifinalists
Inaugural CBI Champion
44 NCAA Tournament appearances
33 WNIT appearances
One team in the NCAA Sweet 16
Two WNIT semifinalists
In addition, 49 baseball teams, 34 volleyball teams, 49 men’s and women’s soccer teams and 25 softball teams have earned NCAA Tournament bids. C-USA has sent three men’s soccer teams to the NCAA College Cup, six baseball teams to the College World Series, five softball teams to the Women’s College World Series and three volleyball teams to the Sweet 16. The league has also had six national champions in NCAA track and field competition, one national champion in diving and numerous NCAA individual and team competitors in cross country, golf, swimming, tennis and track and field. Overall, Conference USA teams and individuals have made more than 500 NCAA appearances.
SUCCESS OFF THE FIELD
C-USA institutions are among the nation’s best in academic performance among student-athletes, bolstered by the fact that student-athletes at league schools have a higher graduation rate than the general student population. Among C-USA’s 5,000 student-athletes, there are champions off the playing field as well. In 15 years, 130 student-athletes earned national ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, while 461 were named All-District. In addition, more than 20,000 student-athletes have been named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll or received the Commissioner's Academic Medal, indicative of outstanding achievement in the classroom.