North Greenville University’s Football program will move to Conference Carolinas in 2025. The transition means all 20 NGU athletic teams will be aligned in one NCAA Division II conference.
Conference Carolinas (CC) announced on Thursday that it is adding Shorter University as a member, giving the conference six schools which field varsity football teams among the 15 CC member institutions across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Conference Carolinas Commissioner Chris Colvin announced the addition of Shorter during a press conference on the campus of the Baptist university in Rome, Georgia.
With six varsity football member schools, Conference Carolinas meets the minimum number required to compete for a conference championship and NCAA Division II championship competition.
NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., shared the news with the NGU community Thursday afternoon.
“This significant move allows NGU to reduce travel for our team and increase competition with institutions of similar size and mission,” President Fant said. “We are grateful to the Gulf South Conference for admitting NGU as an affiliate member for football in 2018, but we are a relatively small school in a conference where five of the eight member schools are state-funded universities with more than 8,000 students enrolled.”
NGU already competes in Conference Carolinas for its 19 other varsity sports. With the addition of Shorter, the conference will have 14 faith-based institutions among its members.
“CC is emerging as a powerhouse group of like-minded institutions, and we believe this is the right move for the conference and for NGU at this time,” Dr. Fant said.
“We are excited about Shorter University joining Conference Carolinas and the addition of football as a conference-sponsored sport,” said NGU Director of Athletics Jan McDonald. “Our league continues to grow under the current leadership, and we are looking forward to what the future has in store.”
Conference Carolinas, which was formed in December 1930, now sponsors competition in 23 varsity sports. The conference sponsored football competition from 1931-1975. CC’s football history includes having Appalachian State as a founding member from 1931-67, and East Carolina as a member from 1947-61. The six football member schools starting in 2025 include North Greenville, Barton, Chowan, Erskine, UNC Pembroke and Shorter.
“We certainly welcome the opportunity for our entire athletic program to be under one conference umbrella,” said NGU Football Head Coach Jeff Farrington. “It will help our students, alumni, and other fans to know our teams all compete against the same schools. Being part of a newly formed league of competition is awesome.”
NGU will continue to compete as an affiliate member of the Gulf South Conference for the next two seasons.
“We are thankful to the Gulf South Conference for allowing us the opportunity to come into the conference,” Farrington said. “Our affiliation with the GSC allowed us to be part of an NCAA Division II conference. But, with the transition to Conference Carolinas we will be able to see our team members be recognized with those from other sports in overall conference recognitions. We will all be together in the conference.”
NGU began varsity football as a junior college in 1988, and started competing as a four-year program in 1995 as part of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Mid-South Conference. NGU moved to NCAA Division II competition in 2006, competing as an independent before affiliating with the GSC in 2018.
NGU’s 2023 football season will begin with a road game versus Charleston Southern University on Thursday, August 31. NGU will open home play versus the University of West Alabama on September 16.
About North Greenville University
NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. Learn more.