Big South 25th Anniversary: This Month in League History (July/August)August 25, 2008
Courtesy of the Big South Conference
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As part of the Big South Conference’s 25th Anniversary celebration in 2008-09, which is presented by Royal Purple, the Conference presents a new feature today called “This Month In League History.” On the 25th of every month this year, this new segment will highlight significant achievements and historical attributes in the Big South Conference. Today’s collection is comprised of chronological accomplishments in the months of July and August since 1983. Three of Charleston Southern's Olympic moments are included in the list.
July 1, 1989 – George F. “Buddy” Sasser replaces the retiring Dr. Edward M. Singleton as Big South Commissioner.
July 1, 1990 – Davidson College joins the Big South Conference.
July 1, 1991 – Liberty University joins the Big South Conference.
July 1, 1992 – Towson State University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County join the Big South from the East Coast Conference. Independent UNC Greensboro joins the Big South. The Conference’s membership reaches 10 schools for the first time.
July 1992 – Big South President Dr. Anthony DiGiorgio is selected to serve on the prestigious President’s Commission of the NCAA.
July 1, 2003 – Virginia Military Institute officially joins the Big South.
July 2004 – High Point’s men’s basketball player Danny Gathings is selected as the NCAA’s 2004 National Co-Sportsman of the Year.
July 21, 2005 – Liberty women’s basketball player Katie Feenstra becomes the first women’s athlete to win consecutive Big South Conference Female Athlete of the Year awards and is the second overall two-time winner.
July 23, 2007 – The Big South announces a new multi-year agreement with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which becomes the Official Mid-Atlantic Partner of the Big South Conference. MASN will provide live television coverage of Conference schools throughout its seven-state territory.
July 1, 2008 – Gardner-Webb University and Presbyterian College officially join the Big South Conference.
July 3-6, 2008 – The Big South has five current or former student-athletes qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Current Coastal Carolina women’s soccer player Emily McColl is named a member of the New Zealand National Team, while former Coastal Carolina track & field athlete Amber Campbell earns a spot on the U.S. National Team in the hammer throw. Former High Point runner Taylor Milne qualifies for the Canadian National Team in the 1,500-meter run. Former Radford runner Goran Nava qualifies for the Serbian National Team in the 1,500-meter run. Former Charleston Southern pitcher R.J. Swindle is named to Team Canada’s baseball team.
August 21, 1983 – The Big South Conference is officially formed. The League’s seven charter members are Armstrong State College, Augusta College, Charleston Southern University (then-Baptist College), Campbell University, Radford University, Coastal Carolina University (then-USC Coastal Carolina College), and Winthrop University (then-Winthrop College). Dr. Edward M. Singleton is named the first Commissioner of the new Big South Conference. August President George Christenberry is named Big South President, who serves in his role until May 1986. The initial championship sports include basketball, soccer, cross country, golf, tennis and baseball.
August 1992 – Charleston Southern’s Charlie Simpkins captures the Silver Medal in the triple jump at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Radford’s Dante Washington was a member of the U.S. National men’s soccer team at the 1992 Olympics.
August 1996 – Kyle B. Kallander is named the Big South’s third Conference commissioner. He replaces George F. “Buddy” Sasser, who returned to Coastal Carolina as athletics director.
August 31, 2002 – The Big South officially kicks off its first football season with four members: Charleston Southern, Elon, Gardner-Webb and Liberty.
August 2004 – Winthrop’s Craig Bradshaw and former Charleston Southern player Rolando Hourruitiner participate in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in men’s basketball. Bradshaw was a member of the New Zealand National Team, while Hourruitiner started for the Puerto Rico National Team.
August 31, 2005 – The Big South Conference and ESPN reach a new five-year deal to televise the Conference’s men’s basketball championship final, as well as new opportunities for other Big South sports on ESPNU, the new college sports network. The new deal is through 2010 and is the longest in the growing partnership that began in 1991. Under the deal, as many as six opportunities for supplemental coverage of the Conference’s sports now exist, and the pact also includes distribution rights for Big South programming across multiple ESPN platforms.
August 27, 2007 – Coastal Carolina women’s soccer players Emma Humphries and Emily McColl are selected to play for the New Zealand National Team in the 2007 Women’s World Cup in China.
August 15, 2008 – At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, former Radford distance runner Goran Nava establishes a new Serbian national record in the 1,500-meter event with a time of 3:42.92. He finished sixth in Heat 2 of the first round and was 0.62 seconds off of the semifinal qualifying time.
ABOUT THE BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE
The Big South Conference is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2008-09, and since its founding in 1983, the Conference has matured into a competitive leader in college athletics, actively pursuing excellence on the field of play and in the classroom. Comprised of 10 member institutions throughout the Southeast, the Big South continues to be a national leader both on the field through its 18 championship sports while intentionally fostering the academic, personal, social, athletic and leadership development of each student-athlete. Charleston Southern University, Coastal Carolina University, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Liberty University, Presbyterian College, Radford University, UNC Asheville, Virginia Military Institute and Winthrop University comprise the membership of the Conference, which is based in Charlotte, N.C. The Big South is online at www.BigSouthSports.com.