(STATS) - There's little doubt Campbell University football and the Big South Conference are a perfect fit together.
Already a Big South member in 18 other sports, Campbell will move to the scholarship level and begin play in the conference with the 2018 season, the university announced Monday.
Campbell returned to football in 2008 after a 58-year hiatus and has played in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League ever since. The Camels will play one more year in the PFL, which has 10 other members.
The Big South will get a much-needed boost from Campbell, moving from six to seven members. The Camels will be immediately eligible for the conference title in 2018.
Campbell was a charter member of the Big South in 1983 before competing in the Atlantic Sun Conference from 1994 to 2010. It returned to the Big South in 2011.
This season, the Camels are 5-4 under fourth-year coach Mike Minter, averaging 5,803 over five home games at Barker-Lane Stadium.
"When I came to Campbell four years ago, I wanted to build Campbell into a FCS powerhouse," Minter said, "and now we get that opportunity by moving to scholarship football and a great conference in the Big South."
Campbell will play in a Big South that also includes Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, Presbyterian and associate members Kennesaw State and Monmouth in football.