The Peach Belt Conference announced that the league will celebrate its 25th Anniversary season in 2015-16. The year-long celebration began on July 1, 2016, with the unveiling of the 25th Anniversary logo which will be the league’s official logo for the next year.
“This is going to be a year of both remembrance and celebration,” said PBC commissioner David Brunk. “The Peach Belt would not be where it is today if not for the dedication of those athletes and administrators who founded the conference and elevated it to national prominence. We will spend this upcoming year honoring their accomplishments and celebrating where we are as a league now while keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the next 25 years.”
Although the league began playing men’s and women’s basketball in the 1990-91 year, it was not until the 1991-92 season that the conference held its first basketball championship tournament and began nine other championship sports.
The conference traces its roots back to November of 1988 when 11 schools first met in Greenville, S.C. to form a Division II conference. Following a second meeting on Dec. 3, 1989, five of those 11 schools, plus two others, formed the Peach Belt and begin play in fall 1990.
The seven charter members of the conference were Armstrong State University, Columbus State University, Francis Marion University, Georgia College, Lander University, USC Aiken and USC Upstate. The name Peach Belt Athletic Conference was adopted in January of 1990 and modified to Peach Belt Conference in May of 2000.
Georgia Regents University joined the conference in 1991 and UNC Pembroke became the ninth member on July 1, 1992. They were followed by Kennesaw State University on July 1, 1994, Clayton State University on July 1, 1995 and the University of North Florida on July 1, 1997. Kennesaw State and North Florida departed for the Division I ranks in 2005, USC Upstate did the same in 2007, and the conference welcomed in the University of North Georgia in 2005 and Georgia Southwestern State University in 2006. In 2009-10, the Peach Belt added Montevallo and Flagler. Young Harris became the league’s 14th member in 2012-13 and in 2014 completed the transition to full NCAA Division II status.
To date, the Peach Belt Conference is home to 35 national championships including the 2015 Armstrong women’s tennis team and the 2015 North Georgia softball team.
The PBC’s 25th Anniversary celebration will encompass a variety of activities and special projects. An anniversary committee has been established to oversee the celebration which will include special video projects, social media posts, contests, historical facts and trivia and the top 25 moments in PBC history.