Marshall Joins Sun Belt Conference


Football Troy Athletics Communications

NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt Conference announced Saturday the addition of Marshall University into the league after a unanimous vote by the Sun Belt CEOs. Marshall will join the Sun Belt Conference no later than July 1, 2023. 
“Today we welcome Marshall University to the Sun Belt Conference. This is another big day for our conference,” said Keith Gill, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner. “Marshall’s football tradition and passionate fans bring a strong presence to the Sun Belt. Their natural rivals are in our footprint and make our East Division even more competitive than it already was. I am grateful to Marshall President Dr. Jerome Gilbert, Chairman of the Marshall Board of Governors Patrick Farrell and Interim Athletics Director Jeff O’Malley for their leadership during this process and look forward to working closely with President-Elect Brad D. Smith.”
The addition of Marshall will bring the number of Sun Belt members to 15, with the Thundering Herd joining current members—App State, Little Rock, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, UTA, Texas State and Troy—and new additions Southern Miss and Old Dominion, which were welcomed to the Sun Belt Conference this week.

“The evolution of the Sun Belt Conference over the past decade has been inspiring.  The SBC has gone from the bottom to the top of the Group of 5. The addition of Marshall to the league will contribute to the continued growth and success of the Sun Belt.” Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy Chancellor, said. “Marshall has a rich tradition and history as a University and athletics department, and we look forward to renewing our rivalry on the football field. This is a great day for our league.”

Marshall University, founded in 1837 and located in Huntington, West Virginia, supports a student population of nearly 13,000. Athletically, the program claims three NCAA national championships—two in FCS football in 1992 and 1996 and one in men’s soccer in 2020. The football program has appeared in 17 bowl games, including a 12-4 postseason record since moving to the FBS in 1997.

“The Sun Belt continues to make its mark as one of the premier Group of Five conferences and the addition of Marshall further solidifies this standing. Marshall has a tremendous track record of producing highly competitive teams and their fan base is well known for their ardent support of their programs,” Troy Director of Athletics Brent Jones said. “Troy is proud to welcome Marshall to the Sun Belt Conference and we look forward to the continued growth and standard of excellence that continues to be set in our proud conference.” 

The Thundering Herd sponsors 16 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf and soccer. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and volleyball. 

The Sun Belt Conference was founded in 1976 and began sponsoring football in 2001. Over the course of the past five football seasons, the conference has posted an FBS-leading .692 winning percentage in bowl games, going 18-8 over the stretch. 
The Sun Belt sponsors 17 NCAA sports and annually awards nearly $134 million in financial aid to more than 4,600 student-athletes. App State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy comprise the league’s 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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