Peach Belt Conference

The Peach Belt Conference (PBC) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division II level. The twelve member institutions are located in the South Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. In addition, there are five affiliate members who participate in one sport each; where their home conference does not sponsor that sport.

Peach Belt Conference
PBC
Peach Belt Conference logo
Established1990
AssociationNCAA
DivisionDivision II
Members12 (10 in 2021)
Sports fielded
  • 15
    • men's: 7
    • women's: 8
RegionSoutheastern United States
HeadquartersAugusta, Georgia
CommissionerDavid Brunk (since 2007)
Websitepeachbeltconference.org
Locations
Peach Belt Conference locations

Since its inception in 1990-91, the Peach Belt has, across all sanctioned sports, produced 30 national champions and additional 27 national finalists. Starting with only two championships in 1991, in men's and women's basketball, the conference has expanded to 13 championship sports with the addition of women's golf in the fall of 2009.

HistoryEdit

The conference traces its roots back to November 1988 when 11 schools first met in Greenville, S.C. to form a Division II conference. Following a second meeting on Dec. 3, 1989, five of those 11 schools, plus two others, formed the Peach Belt Athletic Conference and began play in the fall of 1990.

The seven charter members of the conference were Armstrong Atlantic State University (now Armstrong State University), Columbus State University, Francis Marion University, Georgia College (now Georgia College & State University), Lander University, USC Aiken, and USC Upstate. The name Peach Belt Athletic Conference was adopted in January 1990 and modified to Peach Belt Conference in May 2000.

Augusta State University joined the conference in 1991 and UNC Pembroke became the ninth member on July 1, 1992. They were followed by Kennesaw State University on July 1, 1994, Clayton State University on July 1, 1995 and the University of North Florida on July 1, 1997. Kennesaw State and North Florida departed for the Division I ranks in 2005, USC Upstate did the same in 2007, and the conference welcomed in North Georgia College & State University in 2005 and Georgia Southwestern State University in 2006. In 2009-10, the University of Montevallo and Flagler College were added, returning a league presence to Florida and broke new ground in Alabama. In 2012-13, the Peach Belt expanded to 14 members, the most the league has ever had, with the addition of Young Harris College. On January 8, 2013, the University System of Georgia finalized the mergers of two conference members into new institutions. Augusta State was merged into Georgia Regents University, which was renamed in 2015 as Augusta University, and NGCSU was merged into the University of North Georgia.[1][2] In both cases, the new institutions inherited the Peach Belt memberships of the older schools.

 
Map of Southeastern United States with member institutions in the Division II Peach Belt Conference

The Peach Belt was less than a year old before capturing its first of many national championships. The Columbus State golf team took the honor by winning the 1992 national crown, the first of three golf championships the Cougars own. One year later, the Lander men's tennis team began their record-breaking run of eight straight national titles, the first PBC dynasty. Since then, USCA men's golf has won three straight national titles from 2004-06 while AASU women's tennis has captured four titles overall.

The 2010-11 season was one of the most memorable the league has ever had. Clayton State became the first PBC women's basketball team to capture a national championship. Montevallo watched their men's basketball team reach the Elite Eight, eventually competing in the National Championship Game. Unfortunately, their run came to an end with a loss to Western Washington University. The Columbus State men's tennis team reached the national semifinals while the Clayton State and Armstrong Atlantic State women's tennis teams also played in the national semifinals. The North Georgia softball team made an unprecedented third straight appearance in the NCAA Women's College World Series, while Columbus State's Meshack Koyiaki registered a runner-up finish at the Men's Cross Country National Championships. In all, 46 Peach Belt teams made appearances in the NCAA postseason, including seven men's tennis teams and six each in the sports of men's golf and women's tennis.

David Brunk was named the second PBC commissioner in May 2007. Brunk replaced Marvin Vanover, who was the first PBC commissioner from 1991 to 2007. Brunk is charged with continuing the strong growth of the conference as its second era begins.

Dr. Kendall Blanchard, president of Georgia Southwestern State University, began the second of his two-year term as the league president in July 2011.

In April, 2020, Francis Marion University and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke announced that they are leaving the Peach Belt Conference effective 2021-22, and will both join Conference Carolinas.[3]

The conference currently holds championships in 13 sports, six for men and seven for women. They are men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, baseball, softball and men's and women's golf.[4]

Member schoolsEdit

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
Augusta University Augusta, Georgia 1828 Public 9,000 Jaguars           1991
Clayton State University Morrow, Georgia 1969 Public 7,145 Lakers           1995
Columbus State University Columbus, Georgia 1958 Public 8,597 Cougars                1990
Flagler College St. Augustine, Florida 1968 Private (Nonsectarian) 2,046 Saints           2009
Francis Marion University Florence, South Carolina 1970 Public 4,187 Patriots                1990
Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, Georgia 1889 Public 6,041 Bobcats           1990
Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, Georgia 1906 Public 3,033 Hurricanes           2006
Lander University Greenwood, South Carolina 1872 Public 3,000 Bearcats           1990
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, North Carolina 1887 Public 7,698 Braves           1992
University of North Georgia Dahlonega, Georgia 1873 Public 18,782 Nighthawks           2005
University of South Carolina Aiken Aiken, South Carolina 1961 Public 3,280 Pacers                1990
Young Harris College Young Harris, Georgia 1886 Private (United Methodist) 1,120 Mountain Lions           2012
  • Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke will depart the Peach Belt and become members of Conference Carolinas beginning in the 2021-2022 season.[5]

Affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
Conference
Albany State University Albany, Georgia 1903 Public 6,371 Golden Rams
   
2019 Soccer (W) SIAC
Claflin University Orangeburg, South Carolina 1869 Private
(United Methodist)
1,978 Panthers     2019 Baseball CIAA
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, Florida 1926 Private
(Nonsectarian)
6,794 Eagles           2017 track & field outdoor (M);
track & field outdoor (W)
Sunshine State
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 1958 Private
(Nonsectarian)
8,985 Panthers           2014 track & field outdoor (M);
track & field outdoor (W)
Sunshine State
Nova Southeastern University Davie, Florida 1964 Private
(Nonsectarian)
33,135 Sharks           2012 track & field outdoor (M);
track & field outdoor (W)
Sunshine State

Former membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Current
Conference
Armstrong State University Savannah, Georgia 1935 Public Pirates 1990 2017 Merged in 2017 with
Georgia Southern University
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, Georgia 1963 Public Owls 1994 2005 ASUN
(NCAA D-I)
University of Montevallo Montevallo, Alabama 1896 Public Falcons 2009 2017 Gulf South
University of North Florida Jacksonville, Florida 1969 Public Ospreys 1997 2005 ASUN
(NCAA D-I)
University of South Carolina Upstate Spartanburg, South Carolina 1967 Public Spartans 1990 2007 Big South
(NCAA D-I)

Former affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Sport Primary
Conference
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama 1969 Public Chargers 2012 2016 track & field outdoor (M);
track & field outdoor (W)
Gulf South
Shorter University Rome, Georgia 1873 Private
(Baptist)
Hawks 2012 2016 track & field outdoor (M);
track & field outdoor (W)
Gulf South

Membership timelineEdit

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 

SportsEdit

A divisional format is used for basketball (M / W).
East
  • Augusta
  • Flagler
  • Francis Marion
  • Lander
  • UNC Pembroke
  • USC Aiken
West
  • Clayton State
  • Columbus State
  • Georgia College
  • Georgia Southwestern State
  • North Georgia
  • Young Harris
Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball  Y
Basketball  Y  Y
Cross Country  Y  Y
Golf  Y  Y
Soccer  Y  Y
Softball  Y
Tennis  Y  Y
Track & Field Outdoor  Y  Y
Volleyball  Y

Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Soccer Tennis Track
& Field
Outdoor
Total
PBC
Sports
Augusta  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Clayton State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Columbus State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Flagler  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Francis Marion  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Georgia College  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Georgia Southwestern State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Lander  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
UNC Pembroke  Y  Y  Y  Y 4
North Georgia  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
USC Aiken  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Young Harris  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Totals 11 12 9 9 8 10 5 64
Affiliate Members
Clafin  Y 1
Embry–Riddle  Y 1
Florida Tech  Y 1
Nova Southeastern  Y 1

Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Soccer Softball Tennis Track
& Field
Outdoor
Volleyball Total
PBC
Sports
Augusta  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Clayton State  Y  Y  Y  Y 4
Columbus State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Flagler  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Francis Marion  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Georgia College  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Georgia Southwestern State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Lander  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
UNC Pembroke  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
North Georgia  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
USC Aiken  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Young Harris  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Totals 12 12 6 11 11 10 6 8 76
Affiliate Members
Albany State  Y 1
Embry–Riddle  Y 1
Florida Tech  Y 1
Nova Southeastern  Y 1

Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit

Departing members Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke highlighted in red.

School Men Women Co-ed
Football Golf Lacrosse Track
& Field
Indoor
Wrestling Golf Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
Track
& Field
Indoor
Rifle[a]
Augusta MEAC[b] IND[b]
Clayton State IND IND
Flagler IND IND
Francis Marion IND[b]
Lander GLVC IND GSC
UNC Pembroke MEC MEC MEC MEC MEC
North Georgia SoCon
Young Harris GLVC GSC
  1. ^ The NCAA holds a single rifle championship event open to schools in all three divisions. Rifle schools in Divisions I and II operate under the same rules, including scholarship limits.
  2. ^ a b c The NCAA sponsors Division II men's and women's golf championships, but Augusta (men and women) and Francis Marion (men only) compete as Division I members in that sport.

ChampionshipsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Board of Regents finalizes consolidations, approves presidents" (Press release). University System of Georgia. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
  2. ^ "So long, Georgia Regents. Hello, Augusta University".
  3. ^ "Conference Carolinas Announces Addition of Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke" (Press release). Conference Carolinas. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  4. ^ "Peach Belt Conference History". Peach Belt Conference. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
  5. ^ "Conference Carolinas Announces Addition of Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke". Conference Carolinas. Retrieved April 18, 2020.

External linksEdit