Thursday, November 29, 2012

Timeline: Cougar Athletics

          College of Charleston President George Benson said recently that the school is actively exploring a move to the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) from the Southern Conference (SoCon). 
The school's board of trustees has approved the switch.  No timetable was given on when CofC may join the CAA.  The board will meet on Nov. 30 to further discuss the possible (probable) move.

          School officials acknowledge Cougar teams would face a great deal more travel time in getting to CAA opponents, several of which are in the Northeast. 
College officials say there are many advantages to leaving the SoCon in terms of CofC gaining greater exposure in the New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. areas.  More Cougar men's basketball games would be televised in those regions and nationally as well.
College of Charleston athletics began in 1897. The team was called the Maroons. 
Here are other key dates in CofC's sports history:

1897   The College of Charleston's Athletic Association is organized; the football
team plays it first game; baseball began the next year; basketball soon after
1903   The student body unanimously votes to change the College colors from
blue and white to maroon and white; first team name was Maroons
1922   Football cancelled after rule change prohibited freshmen from playing varsity sports
1939    A new Student Activities Center is built at the corner or George and Meeting streets

  CofC defeats Furman 20-17 in first game at the school's newly-built gymnasium

A number of intermural sports are added, including bowling

   The College joins the new Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference; other members
include UNC-Charlotte, Lynchburg College, North Carolina Wesleyan College

    By a student vote the team name changes from Maroons to Cougars; the College
changes conferences, joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

    The Johnson Center opens; Clyde the Cougar debuts as the CofC sports mascot

1983     John Kresse coaches men's basketball to the NAIA National Championship
1988    CofC athletics moves to the Division I level
1991     The College joins the Trans American Athletic Conference (other teams include
Mercer, Florida Atlantic, Florida International 
1994     Men's basketball teams plays in the NCAA Tournament for the first time
1999     CofC leaves the TAAC and joins the Southern Conference (SoCon)
2008     New arena opens (today called TD Arena)
2013     The College joins the Colonial Athetic Conference???  CAA teams include the
University of Deleware, Hofstra, George Mason, James Madison, UNC-Wilmington

(Source: "True Maroon: A History of College of Charleston Athletics"- published 2008)


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