Kennesaw State to Join Conference USA in July 2024

C-USA continues to re-configure its list of member schools amid a flurry of departures in the past year.

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Conference USA has spent the better of the past year re-configuring its list of member schools amid a flurry of recent departures. On Friday, C-USA announced it will welcome another new university to its ranks in time for the 2024-25 academic year.

Kennesaw State has officially accepted an invitation to jump from the ASUN Conference to Conference USA, according to an official statement. The move was unanimously approved in September by the league’s Board of Directors, and will officially go into effect for all sports beginning on July 1, 2024.

Based just outside of Atlanta, KSU has been a member of the ASUN since 2005, and officially joined Division I that same year.

“Today is an important day as we formally welcome Kennesaw State University to Conference USA,” commissioner Judy MacLeod said. “The addition of this growing university continues to build upon our strong foundation and we are excited to partner with President Schwaig and KSU’s leadership team to transform our membership and strategically position the conference for long-term success.”

According to KSU, the Owls football program, which began in 2015 under current coach Brian Bohannon, is expected to begin its transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) following the 2022 season. Fresh off winning their third ASUN title in five seasons, the Owls are currently 2–3 to begin this season.

KSU will now depart the ASUN after a successful 2021-22 academic year for not only its football program but baseball, men’s tennis, and women’s track and field, all of whom took home conference titles. In all, KSU has won 43 conference championships and 11 regular season titles among its women and men’s teams since 2005.

While Friday’s news signals a landmark moment for all involved, the move comes at a time of significant change within the C-USA. The sweeping changes began last October with a mass exodus from former member schools Rice, UTSA, North Texas, UAB, Florida Atlantic and Charlotte who also announced a move to the American Athletic Conference last year. The programs will officially join the AAC on July 1, 2023.

In November, C-USA announced the additions of Liberty, New Mexico State, Sam Houston and Jacksonville State. Four months later, the conference finalized an agreement in March to sever ties with Old Dominion, Marshall and Southern Miss after tense negotiations, allowing all three schools to finalize their reported move to the Sun Belt. 

With Kennesaw State’s arrival now confirmed, C-USA is up to 10 member schools. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, the league “doesn’t expect to get back to 14 teams, and it may not rush to 12 either.”

“We think and our new media partners think 10 is a good place to be,” Western Kentucky president and C-USA board chair Tim Caboni said this week, per Vannini. “There is a possibility of 12, but it has to be the right 12. Institutional strength and geography matter there.”

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