Breakdown of the 2023 conference realignment in men’s and women’s golf

Saturday marked a big day for many college golf programs.

When the calendar officially flipped to July, it marked the transition date for the latest wave of conference realignment. The headlines, at least as far as men’s and women’s golf are concerned, were BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF all joining the Big 12, which is poised to take a massive hit next summer when Oklahoma and Texas hit the SEC.

Here’s a quick rundown of the move:

BIG 12

Adds: BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, UCF
Loser: None (Oklahoma and Texas in July 2024)
Keeps: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia (m)

Skinny: Losing golf powers Oklahoma and Texas next summer will hurt badly, but all four additions have successful golf programs, as BYU won the West Coast men’s title and the Cincinnati men advanced to regionals for the first time in program history last season. The UCF women were a top-25 program for much of last season. Houston has also enjoyed success with both of its programs over the past decade, and of course the Cougars have a rich history on the men’s side under legendary coach Dave Williams, who led Houston to 16 NCAA titles in the 1960s, 70s and 80s .


Adds: Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice (m), UAB, UTSA
Loser: Cincinnati, Houston, UCF
Keeps: East Carolina, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple (m), Tulane (w), Tulsa (w), Wichita State

Skinny: The Charlotte men and North Texas women stand out among the arrivals, though UAB is also a solid program and FAU is on the rise.


Adds: Jacksonville State, Liberty (m), New Mexico State, Sam Houston
Loser: Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice (m), UAB, UTSA
Keeps: FIU (w), Louisiana Tech (m), Middle Tennessee, UTEP, Western Kentucky

Skinny: Lots of turnover here with six out and four in, but C-USA did well by adding Liberty, who has developed into one of the best men’s mid-majors over the last decade or so (the Flames haven’t women’s golf). Sam Houston is a good winner on both the men’s and women’s side.


Adds: None
Loser: Jacksonville State, Liberty (m) (Kennesaw State in July 2024)
Keeps: Austin Peay, Bellarmine, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, North Alabama, North Florida, Queens (NC), Stetson

Skinny: Liberty, as one of the last three ASUN men’s titles, is gone, but North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast and Jacksonville help keep the ASUN a solid men’s conference. The impact of the departures for the women isn’t as great since Liberty doesn’t boast a women’s team, but when Kennesaw State leaves next summer, the ASUN will lose one of its perennial women’s contenders.


Adds: None
Loser: New Mexico State, Sam Houston
Keeps: Abilene Christian (m), Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon, Seattle, Southern Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton (w), UT Arlington, UT Rio Grande Valley, Utah Tech, Utah Valley

Skinny: Sam Houston spent just one season in the WAC, although New Mexico State had won four men’s titles since 2013. On the women’s side, NMSU had captured seven of the last eight WAC titles. Sam Houston won the WAC women’s title last season. Grand Canyon, Seattle and Abilene Christian remain the top programs.


Adds: Campbell
Loser: None
Keeps: College of Charleston, Delaware, Drexel (m), Elon, Hofstra, Monmouth, North Carolina A&T, Towson, UNC Wilmington, William and Mary

Skinny: Under longtime head coach John Crooks, both Campbell programs had plenty of success in the Big South and should immediately contend for both colonial titles.


Adds: None
Loser: Campbell
Keeps: Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Longwood, Presbyterian, Radford, UNC Asheville (w), USC Upstate, Winthrop

Skinny: Campbell had won three of the past six Big South men’s titles, but it’s on the women’s side where the Camels’ absence will be felt most. Campbell had won each of the past seven women’s championships.


Adds: None
Loser: BYU
Keeps: Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount (m), Pacific (m), Pepperdine, St. Mary’s (m), San Diego (m), San Francisco, Santa Clara

Skinny: BYU leaves as the reigning West Coast men’s champion, although the Cougars’ departure likely means more on the women’s side, as the West Coast now has only four members sponsoring women’s golf (conferences require at least six active golf teams to earn an AQ to the NCAA regional).


Adds: Binghamton (m), Le Moyne
Loser: None
Keeps: Delaware State (w), Fairleigh Dickinson, Howard, Long Island, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Merrimack, North Carolina Central, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (Pa.), Stonehill (w), Wagner

Skinny: St. Francis (NY) scrapped its remaining DI sports after last spring, although the golf programs had been gone for a few years. The additions will give Northeast 10 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams, and the continued rise of Howard’s programs gives this conference some momentum.


Adds: None
Loser: Hartford, Binghamton
Keeps: Eastern Washington (w), Idaho, Idaho State (w), Montana (w), Montana State (w), Northern Arizona (w), Northern Colorado, Portland State (w), Sacramento State, Weber State

Skinny: With Hartford and Binghamton out, the Big Sky is down to four men’s teams, so adding two teams in the near future will be imperative if the conference wants to keep its AQ. The women’s side still has 10 programs, as Hartford and Binghamton did not compete in the Big Sky last season.

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