Conference USA adds affiliate members
By Courtney Morrison-Archer, Conference USA for WVUsports.com
September 04, 2012 12:20 PM
IRVING, Texas - Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today that Old Dominion University, who will join the league as a full-time member in 2013, will have five sports become affiliate C-USA members effective this season. C-USA also has agreed to affiliate memberships with West Virginia University (women's rowing) and University of New Mexico (men's soccer).
The Old Dominion men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis and women's rowing teams will become members of Conference USA for the 2012-13 season, competing in the league's 2013 Championships. ODU men's golf is led by veteran coach Dr. Murray Rudisill, who is in his 37th season. The Monarchs women's golf team is under the direction of Carol Robertson and returns two first team All-Colonial Athletic Association selections Elizabeth Haycock and Samantha Morrell.
The Monarch men's and women's tennis teams each advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 CAA Championships and will make their debuts in the 2013 Conference USA Championships. Men's head coach Aljosa Piric returns underclassman Carlos Lopez Villa, an all-conference selection as a freshman, as well as senior leadership. Women's coach Dominic Manilla will again have the services of CAA Co-Rookie of the Year Alexsandra Mitrovska.
Conference USA Women's Rowing will now consist of 11 schools, including current full-time members SMU, Tulsa and UCF. Adding Old Dominion, seven other programs serve as affiliate members in the league: Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Old Dominion and West Virginia will be competing in C-USA for the first time at the 2013 Championship, which will be held May 18 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
New Mexico men's soccer will become a Conference USA affiliate member, beginning with the 2013-14 season. The Lobos are currently ranked No. 3 nationally by the NSCAA under head coach Jeremy Fishbein, who is in this 11th season. Fishbein in a four-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year, and won national Coach of the Year honors in 2004 from Soccer America. Since 2002, the UNM program has produced 11 All-Americans and 17 Academic All-America selections. The Lobos have ranked among the top 15 nationally in attendance the last 10 seasons.
The 2013 C-USA men's soccer race will feature additional new members Charlotte and Old Dominion, both ranked among the NSCAA Top 20, and current members FIU, Kentucky, Marshall, South Carolina, Tulsa and No. 17 UAB.
"We are excited about each of these additions," Banowsky said. "These teams have achieved some impressive accomplishments competitively and in the classroom. We feel they will add to the already strong competition in our conference."