Chicago won’t be without a member of the Missouri Valley Conference after all.
The University of Illinois Chicago announced Wednesday that it will join the nation’s second-oldest Division I conference on July 1 — the same day Loyola is leaving the Valley for the Atlantic 10.
The Flames athletic teams have competed since 1994 in the Horizon League (called the Midwestern Collegiate Conference before 2001).
“Joining the Missouri Valley Conference is an honor for the Flames,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said in a statement. “The Valley is a conference that is not only rich in tradition with a storied history of success, but it aligns UIC with other like-minded institutions that share in our vision for the future of higher education and athletics.”
UIC is one of three schools the MVC added Wednesday, along with Belmont and Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference, to bring the membership to 12 schools for the 2022-23 academic year.
The other Valley members are Bradley, Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Drake, Evansville, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Valparaiso.
Athletic director Michael Lipitz called UIC’s move to the Valley “the most significant single event in our history since announcing the transition to NCAA Division I 40 years ago.” Lipitz also said the Flames will try to continue scheduling non-conference competitions against their former Horizon League rivals.
Founded in 1907, the Valley is predated by only the Big Ten (1896) among Division I conferences.
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