The Liberty Flames are headed to Conference USA where the Flames will compete as all-sports members beginning with the 2023-24 athletic season. Over the next several days, we will be profiling each member of C-USA as we all get to know Liberty’s new home a little better.
Jacksonville State University
Location: Jacksonville, Alabama
Distance to Lynchburg: 536 miles
TV market: No. 45 (Birmingham, Alabama)
Joined CUSA: 2023
CUSA football championships: N/A
Coach: Maxwell Thurmond (interim)
Stadium: JSU Stadium
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks will join the FBS ranks in 2023 as a member of Conference USA. JSU currently plays in the ASUN, but until July 2021, was an 18-year member of the Ohio Valley Conference. Jacksonville State is 5-5 this season. The Gamecocks won the Ohio Valley conference five consecutive times between 2014 and 2018 and won the conference again in 2020. The team has made numerous FCS playoff appearances over the past decade – most recently in 2020. Despite being a mainstay in the FCS postseason, the team has never won a Division 1 national title.
JSU lost in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament in 2016-17. The team had a winning record in four of the past five seasons, including an 18-9 mark in a COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. Since taking over the program in 2016-17, head coach Ray Harper has compiled a 99-66 record. As current members of the ASUN, Jacksonville State will travel to Lynchburg to play the Flames on January 29.
Jacksonville State went 26-27 in 2021. The team won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament in 2010, 2014, and 2019 – earning a NCAA Regional berth each time. The Gamecocks have earned a winning record in seven of the past ten seasons.