Irving, TX (Sports Network) - Western Kentucky has decided to leave the Sun Belt Conference and has accepted an invitation to join Conference USA.
The move will take effect July 1, 2014.
"We welcome Western Kentucky to Conference USA," said commissioner Britton Banowsky in a statement Monday. "The tradition of the university and its athletics success is truly remarkable. The men's basketball program has made seven NCAA appearances since 2000, the women's basketball program has advanced to three NCAA Final Fours and football went to a bowl game last season in just its fourth year in the FBS."
Western Kentucky has been a Sun Belt member since the 1982-83 academic year. The Hilltoppers sponsor 19 NCAA Division I sports.
Conference USA is losing numerous members to a new league with former schools from the fractured Big East.
In addition to Western Kentucky, Conference USA in 2014-15 will include Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UAB, UTEP and Texas-San Antonio.