—Georgia Southern head football coach Jeff Monken joined 11 other current and future Sun Belt coaches at the conference’s media days in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Eagles will play a Sun Belt Conference schedule next season and will be eligible for one of the Sun Belt’s bowl slots in 2015. Georgia Southern is playing in its final year of Football Championship Subdivision competition, though the Eagles are not eligible for the FCS playoffs.
"Georgia Southern is a tremendous university; it is a school that has grown significantly over the last 30 years," Monken said. "When Erk Russell helped start football here in 1981, we were a school of 5,000 to 6,000 enrollment. We are now over 20,000 students, and the town has grown as a result of it," said Monken. "It is a well-
respected university across the Southeast, and we have some unique academic programs that make us really proud."
Monken addressed some of the challenges that the Eagles will face as they move to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
"There are a lot of things that we are going to have to grow through — the move up in competition, the increase in scholarships," he said. "We are moving from a roster where we have some real thin positions and getting those numbers up is important as we move to the FBS level.
"Making this move is really an exciting time for our university and for everyone that is involved. Our kids, student body and fans are excited about it, and I think it is a great opportunity to get Georgia Southern talked about on a more national scene."