Charlotte 49ers
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Charlotte 49ers
Charlotte 49ers
UniversityUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte
ConferenceConference USA
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorMike Hill
LocationCharlotte, North Carolina
Varsity teams18
Football stadiumJerry Richardson Stadium
Basketball arenaDale F. Halton Arena
Baseball stadiumRobert & Mariam Hayes Stadium
Softball stadiumSue M. Daughtridge Stadium
Soccer stadiumTransamerica Field
Other arenasHalton-Wagner Tennis Complex
MascotNorm the Niner
ColorsGreen and white[1]
Conference USA logo in Charlotte's colors

The UNC Charlotte 49ers are the intercollegiate athletics teams that represent the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 49ers have 18 varsity teams, which compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a member of Conference USA (C-USA). Despite being a founding member of C-USA, Charlotte rejoined the conference in 2013 after spending eight years as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The men's and women's teams are often called Charlotte, which is commonly abbreviated using the acronym "CLT", the city's geocode. The teams are also referred to as the 49ers, or simply Niners.

Overview and history


The athletics department officially changed its name to simply Charlotte in 2000.[2] The school's identity suffered from years of constant confusion before then. While UNCC and UNC Charlotte were the officially accepted athletic names, media outlets frequently used unofficial nicknames such as N.C.-Charlotte, N.C.-Char, North Carolina-Charlotte, UNC, UNC-C, UNCC at Charlotte, and others. When the name change was made official, Athletics Director Judy Rose summarized the sentiment that drove the name change:

"We're proud to be members of the University of North Carolina university system. But, frankly, we are tired of being confused with other institutions or having our own identity misused and misconstrued. It's harder to make a name for yourself, when your name keeps getting confused. Not only will this logo simplify matters, but it gives the program an exciting new look that better captures our essence."

The official school name remains the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


The nickname "49ers" derives from the fact that the university's predecessor--Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina (CCUNC - established in 1946) was saved from being shut down by the state in 1949 by Bonnie Cone, when CCUNC became Charlotte College. Due to this "49er spirit" that Cone felt embodied the university, referring to the settlers that endured much hardships in traveling across the United States to seek fortune in the California Gold Rush, students of the fledgling UNC Charlotte chose "49ers" as the school's mascot. The fact that the University's Main Campus front entrance is located on North Carolina Highway 49 is pure coincidence.

Prior to the "49ers" moniker, the athletic teams were known as the "Owls" due to CCUNC's beginnings as a night school.

Previous Charlotte 49ers primary logo (2000-2020)

The primary athletics logo, called the "All-In C", contains a pick-axe, a reference to the Gold Rush, inside a stylized block C placed at a 9° angle. According to the university, this signifies "positive energy and forward momentum".[3]

Conference affiliations

Conference realignment

Previously, UNC Charlotte was a charter member of the Sun Belt Conference and the Metro Conference, before joining Conference USA in 1995.

Despite a popular and competitive Conference USA in which UNC Charlotte enjoyed rivalries with the likes of Memphis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette, and others, the collegiate sports landscape underwent a major restructuring in 2004-2005. C-USA took the most serious hit of any conference,[4] losing many of its most successful members, including Charlotte.

After this dramatic reshuffle, UNC Charlotte received an invitation to join the Atlantic 10 Conference, which it accepted.[5] Upon joining the A-10, Charlotte experienced much success in nearly every category with the exception of the signature sport of men's basketball.

With football upgrades on the horizon, and an attempt to restore geographic rivalries,UNC Charlotte returned to a revised Conference USA starting with the 2013-2014 academic season, except for football, where they joined in 2015, and was fully eligible in 2016.[6]

Conference membership

Sports sponsored

A member of Conference USA, UNC Charlotte currently sponsors teams in nine men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports:

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Football Soccer
Golf Softball
Soccer Tennis
Tennis Track and field+
Track and field+ Volleyball
+ - Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


Hayes Stadium has been the home of the 49ers' baseball team since 1984. A major renovation finished in 2008.
  • First season: 1979
  • Conference Championships (4)
    • 1993, 2007, 2008, 2011
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances (5)
  • Recognized Jerseys
    • 7 Barry Shifflett
    • 15 Tim Collie
    • 5 Joey Anderson
    • 31 Adam Mills
    • 4 Bo Robinson

Men's basketball

Halton Arena has been the on-campus facility for basketball and volleyball since 1996.

Women's basketball

  • First season: 1975-1776
  • Conference Championships (4)
    • 1990, 2003, 2006, 2009
  • NCAA Appearances (2)
  • WNIT Appearances (13)
    • 1990, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 (WNIT Final Four), 2012, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021
  • Recognized Jerseys


The first football program developed in 1946 and lasted until 1948. In 2006 students and alumni began a push for football to return to the school. The Board of Trustees approved it in 2008, and with funding approved in 2010, the school fielded its first official varsity football program since 1948 in 2013. The team would post a 5-6 record in their first season under coach Brad Lambert.

Jerry Richardson Stadium opened in 2013 with the 49ers' Inaugural Season.
  • First season: 2013
  • Conference Championships (0)
  • Bowl Games (1; Bahamas Bowl, 2019)
  • Retired Jerseys (0)
  • NFL Draft Picks as of 2020 (4)

Track & Field

  • The Track & Field team boasted the most decorated athlete in school history, Shareese Woods. While at UNC Charlotte (2003-2007) she became a four time All American, placing 4th at multiple NCAA Championships, and breaking 12 school records.
  • She went on to compete internationally in the sprints and made numerous United States teams at the 2006 NACAC Under-23 Championships in Athletics, 2007 NACAC Championships, 2007 Pan American Games and 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships, medaling at all of those competitions.

Men's golf

  • Consensus #1 in the nation by three major polls: Golfweek, Golfstat, and Nike - Fall 2007 (First National Number 1 Ranking in any varsity sport for Charlotte)
  • Conference Championships (6)
    • 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • NCAA Championship 3rd Place - 2007
  • NCAA Championship 8th Place - 2008

Women's golf

  • Women's Golf was added to the Charlotte sports lineup for the 2017-18 school year. Holly Clark was hired to be the program's first coach.[7]

Men's soccer

Transamerica Field opened in 1996.
  • First Season: 1976
  • Conference Championships (6)
    • 1983, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2010, 2013
  • Regular Season Championships (dating back to 2011)
    • 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • NCAA Appearances (14)
  • NCAA Men's College Cup 1996, 2011
  • NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Game, 2011
  • Overall Record since 2011
    • 85-29-16 (W% of 71.5)
  • Home Record since 2011
    • 50-10-6 (W% of 80.3)
  • Charlotte alumnus Jon Busch named MLS Top Goalkeeper[8]

Women's soccer

  • First Season: 1994
  • Conference Championships (7)
    • 1997, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016
  • NCAA Appearances (4)
    • 1998, 2002, 2007, 2008
  • Women's 3-time defending Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions
  • Women's 2-time defending A-10 Tournament Champions


The 49ers softball team began play in 1986. The team has not made an NCAA Tournament appearance. The current head coach is Ashley Chastain.


Charlotte has had its fair share of intense rivalries. In men's basketball, one of their most heated rivalries was with Conference USA rival Cincinnati, who was coached by Bob Huggins for most of this period. From 1995-96 to 2004-05, after which Charlotte and Cincinnati left C-USA, Charlotte managed to upset Cincinnati teams ranked #3, #8, #18, #20 in the country.[9][10][11][12] In what became known as the Cincinnati Incident, a brawl broke out between Cincinnati and the Charlotte student section, when a Cincinnati player threw the basketball into the stands. This led to the creation of a 'buffer zone' being implemented behind the visiting team's bench.[13] ESPN commentator Andy Katz provided this explanation on why Charlotte-Cincinnati was one of the juiciest rivalries in the country: "The games are hotly contested usually and the fans in Charlotte don't like Cincinnati. They get up for this game more than any other."[14]

Charlotte's 29-year men's basketball rivalry with the Davidson Wildcats sees Mecklenburg County's only two Division I schools go head-to-head for the Hornet's Nest Trophy. Charlotte leads the series 26-11.[15] Due to a scheduling conflict, the series was on hiatus until the 2010-11 season.[16]

Recently Charlotte has started to develop a rivalry with the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Given Charlotte's dominance of Appalachian State in sports they've long participated in, not much of a rivalry has been able to develop. However, Charlotte's establishment of a football team, and the competitiveness of the subsequent contests in that sport, have led to a renewed interest and developing rivalry. Appalachian State is undefeated against Charlotte in football with games scheduled through 2030.


Athletic facilities at Charlotte have improved dramatically over the past decade. In 1996, men's basketball returned to campus full-time for the first time in nearly 20 years with the opening of Dale F. Halton Arena. A new outdoor sports facility, the Irwin Belk Track and Field Center, opened in 1999 and serves as the home to the 49ers track and field teams in addition to both men's and women's soccer. Tom & Lib Phillips Field, the baseball facility, underwent a $6 million overhaul that was completed in 2007; the facility was renamed Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium in honor of the renovation's benefactor and her late husband. The golf team's practice facility at Rocky River Golf Club in Concord was completed in October 2006.

Further reading


  1. ^ 49ers Color System (PDF). Charlotte 49ers Brand Standards. June 23, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Charlotte 49ers".
  3. ^ "The Bold Rush Is On - Join Us!". Charlotte 49ers Athletics Department. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Why wait? Conferences discussing '04-05 shift". 8 January 2004.
  5. ^ Charlotte accepts A-10 expansion invitation[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ McMurphy, Brett (1 May 2012). "Conference USA reloading by adding 6 schools". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Women's Golf Added as 18th Sport; Holly Clark Named as Head Coach". Charlotte 49ers. November 11, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Charlotte 49ers".
  9. ^ "UC timid in big loss at UNCC". Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ "BASKETBALL: COLLEGE MEN; Undefeated Bearcats Are Upset Wildcats Prevail". New York Times. January 15, 1999. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ "Charlotte Upsets No. 8 Cincinnati, 86-83". Archived from the original on November 23, 2007. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "49ers Topple #18/#17 Cincinnati, 91-90". Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ NinerOnline - The story of section 103 Archived January 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Katz: New rivalries". 21 January 2005.
  15. ^ 49ers game may be in doubt - again Archived December 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^[permanent dead link]

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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