A History of the Southern Conference
In the winter of 1921, fifteen prominent colleges and universities met in Atlanta, Georgia, to form a new organization to promote intercollegiate athletics competition. That organization, soon to become known as the Southern Conference (SoCon), remains a strong and viable member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 100 years later. Southern Conference roots may be found throughout college athletics from the Mid-Atlantic region to the deep South. All but three of the current Southeastern Conference (SEC) members once belonged to the Southern Conference. Likewise, a majority of present Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) institutions formerly were SoCon members.
This time on Walter Edgar’s Journal, former SoCon commissioner John Iamarino, author of A Proud Athletic History: 100 Years of The Southern Conference (2021, Mercer University Press), tells the story of the notable athletes, coaches, and athletic programs that have built such a rich tradition over so many decades. Legendary sports figures such as Jerry West, Arnold Palmer, Bear Bryant, Sam Huff, and Steph Curry are all part of the Southern Conference's past.
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