Kentucky Men’s Soccer Set to Join Sun Belt Conference
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Sun Belt Conference announced on Wednesday that it will bring back men’s soccer beginning in fall 2022 with Kentucky set to join the league as an affiliate member. The Wildcats’ men soccer program had been part of Conference USA since 2005.
Having previously sponsored men’s soccer from 1976-1996 and 2014-20, the Sun Belt will once again offer the sport starting this upcoming fall. Kentucky will join Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison and West Virginia – as well as former C-USA rivals Coastal Carolina, Marshall, Old Dominion and South Carolina – in the conference.
“This marks an exciting new chapter for both Kentucky men’s soccer and the Sun Belt Conference, and we are thrilled to join a league that will continue to align with our belief of comprehensive excellence,” said UK head coach Johan Cedergren. “We are honored to become a member of this outstanding conference and want to thank everyone who has been involved in this process to ensure student-athletes and teams are set up for success.”
Originally founded in 1976, the Sun Belt will now sponsor 18 NCAA Division I sports with the addition of men’s soccer. League membership will consist of 14 institutions beginning July 1, 2022, with Kentucky, South Carolina and West Virginia joining exclusively for men’s soccer.
The Wildcats are coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, earning their second Conference USA Tournament championship title after defeating Florida Atlantic, 2-1, in an overtime thriller. UK then went on to its fourth-ever and second-straight NCAA Championship Sweet 16 appearance in 2021.