Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Loyola University Chicago will be leaving the Horizon League to join the Missouri Valley Conference, effective July 1, 2013.
The university's move to the conference will involve all sports, with the exception of men's volleyball, which remains a member of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.
"I am pleased to announce that Loyola University Chicago will be joining the Missouri Valley Conference, one of the most historic and competitive in the country," said Dr. M. Grace Galhoun, assistant vice president and director of athletics. "We look forward to reestablishing nationally competitive programs and growing Loyola's modern athletics brand. I am confident Loyola will not only be a strong and valued new member of the conference athletically, but will also enhance the reputation of the conference through the addition of a world-class university in a world-class city with student athletes who excel academically, athletically, and in life."
Loyola had been a charter member of the Horizon League since its inception in 1979, and was the only remaining original member of the conference.
With Loyola's arrival, the Missouri Valley will remain at 12 members, alongside Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Wichita State. Creighton announced last month that it is leaving for the new Big East. It is the conference's first change in membership since 1996, when Tulsa left for the Western Athletic Conference.
"This is a historic moment for the Missouri Valley and for Loyola University, and we strongly believe in the commitment and the potential that is very evident with this institution," said conference commissioner Doug Elgin. "Their University leadership has made a very significant investment in athletics facilities and in staffing in recent years, and we are confident that Loyola is going to be a great competitive fit in our Conference."