May 23, 2013, 10:50 PM EDT
Head coach Alan Major led the Charlotte basketball program to its first 20-win season since 2008 this past year, as the 49ers won 21 games and received a bid to the Postseason NIT.
Next up for Major’s program is Conference USA, and the former Ohio State assistant will make the move with a new contract in tow.
The school announced on Thursday that Major’s contract has been extended through the 2017-18 season, and with four starters returning the 49ers are well-positioned to have an impact in their Conference USA debut.
“I am pleased with the direction of our men’s basketball program under the leadership of Alan Major,” Charlotte AD Judy Rose said in a statement released by the school.
“We are trending in the right direction. Our team played in post season for the first time since 2008. His recruiting model is based on getting quality young men into our program… good basketball players with strong character and a strong desire to graduate. I am confident that we will be successful in Conference USA.”
The Conference USA that Charlotte enters in July will be drastically different than the league the program called home from 1995-2005. Perennial juggernaut Memphis, along with four other schools, will move from C-USA to the American Athletic Conference in July.
And both East Carolina and Tulane, schools that were a part of the league the last time Charlotte was a member, leave for the American next summer (as will Tulsa, which joined C-USA in 2005).
But with the massive overhaul comes an opportunity for Charlotte to establish itself as one of Conference USA’s best programs. Thursday’s news displays the confidence the school has in Major’s ability to do just that.
“I am thankful for the support and leadership of Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois and Judy Rose,” said Major.
“I would like to give credit to our coaching staff, players and support staff for the part that they have played in this extension. I am very excited about the future of Charlotte basketball.”
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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