Belmont to join the Missouri Valley Conference for the 2022-23 school year | Illinois State


NORMAL – The Missouri Valley conference expands in the latest installment of the varsity conference realignment.

Belmont University President Gregory Jones announced on Tuesday that the Bears will officially join the MVC on July 1, 2022. This will give the league 11 teams for the 2022-2023 school year, barring further expansion. does not happen.

Belmont is a private school located in Nashville, Tenn. The Bears have been members of the Ohio Valley Conference since 2012.

“Joining the Missouri Valley Conference is a natural step forward for our already high performing and well respected programs,” said Jones. “Considering the collective achievements of the conference and the importance of its member institutions, we believe this is a big step for Belmont and sets us up for even greater success in the future. “

Belmont joins the state of Illinois, Bradley, southern Illinois, Loyola, Drake, northern Iowa, state of Missouri, state of Indiana, Evansville and Valparaiso in the valley .

“This is truly an exciting day for the Missouri Valley Conference,” MVC Commissioner Jeff Jackson said. “The MVC has long established itself as one of the premier leagues in the country, especially in the sport of basketball. I have no doubt that Belmont University will prove to be an exceptional partner and further strengthen The Valley’s brand and status. “

ISU Athletic Director Kyle Brennan is excited to see the league grow with a quality program joining the ranks.

“Commissioner Jackson and all of the MVC staff have done a great job identifying a quality program to add to our highly competitive conference and help us reach new heights,” said Brennan.

“Belmont is a proven winner and they will only enhance the league’s reputation nationally. Bringing our schools to a large market in Nashville will only help grow our brand and we couldn’t be more excited about it. ‘idea of ​​competing with the Bruins in 2022. “

Belmont’s men’s basketball program has won 20 conference championships since 2006, the third nationally during that time (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of four college basketball programs to have won 19 or more games in 16 consecutive seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas, San Diego State). Belmont is 130-24 in conference games over the past nine seasons.

Taylor Bruninga of Illinois State drives a 3-point goal behind the ISU bench that won the Redbirds 79-72 non-conference victory over Belmont in the 2018 opener – 19 at Redbird Arena.


Illinois State defeated Belmont, 79-72, in the 2018-19 season opener at Redbird Arena after losing to the Nashville Bruins, 100-89, in November 2017.

Women’s basketball at Belmont is coming off a historic season that included a fifth conference tournament championship in six years and an NCAA tournament victory over Gonzaga.

Belmont has competed in several NCAA tournaments in baseball, men’s tennis, women’s soccer, and volleyball, among others, and has one of the strongest cross-country programs in the South.

The MVC added Loyola in 2013 when Creighton left for the Big East Conference and Valparaiso in 2017 after Wichita State left for the American Athletic Conference.

This story will be updated.

Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_benson

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