The Summit League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Summit League
The Summit League logo
EstablishedJune 18, 1982[1]
DivisionDivision I non-football
Members9 Full (1 Associate)
Sports fielded19 (men's: 9; women's: 10)
RegionMidwestern United States
Former namesAssociation of Mid-Continent Universities (1982–1989)
Mid-Continent Conference (1989–2007)
HeadquartersElmhurst, Illinois
CommissionerTom Douple (since 2005)
The Summit League locations
Jump to: navigation, search
The Summit League
The Summit League logo
EstablishedJune 18, 1982[1]
DivisionDivision I non-football
Members9 Full (1 Associate)
Sports fielded19 (men's: 9; women's: 10)
RegionMidwestern United States
Former namesAssociation of Mid-Continent Universities (1982–1989)
Mid-Continent Conference (1989–2007)
HeadquartersElmhurst, Illinois
CommissionerTom Douple (since 2005)
The Summit League locations

The Summit League (or The Summit) is an NCAA Division I college athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. On June 1, 2007, the conference changed its name from the Mid-Continent Conference.

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Current full members[edit]

FoundedTypeEnrollmentU.S. News
Ranking[2] #
Endowment [2][3]JoinedNicknameColors
University of DenverDenver, Colorado
$373,395,4342013PioneersCrimson & Gold
Indiana University – Purdue University
Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana
$39,575,2272007MastodonsRoyal Blue & White
Indiana University – Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolis, Indiana
$634,978,9721998JaguarsCrimson & Old Gold
University of Nebraska OmahaOmaha, Nebraska
$4,203,1112012MavericksCrimson & Black
North Dakota State UniversityFargo, North Dakota
$103,043,0002007BisonGreen & Gold
Oral Roberts UniversityTulsa, Oklahoma
(Regional: West)
$40,100,0001997 *
Golden EaglesVegas Gold & Navy Blue
University of South DakotaVermillion, South Dakota
$155,901,0002011CoyotesVermillion & White
South Dakota State UniversityBrookings, South Dakota
$83,008,6862007JackrabbitsBlue & Yellow
Western Illinois UniversityMacomb, Illinois
(Regional: Midwest)
$28,422,7241982 LeathernecksPurple & Gold

* - Oral Roberts University was a previous member of the conference from 1997-98 to 2011-12, before re-joining in 2014.
# - "RNP" is an abbreviation for "Ranked Not Published" used by US News and World Report in its rankings of colleges and universities.
- The Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992–93. Before that time, Western Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; WIU was a member of both sides of the conference. When the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, WIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but has kept its football team in the Gateway (now known as the Missouri Valley Football Conference) to this day.

Current associate members[edit]

Summit Sport
Eastern Illinois UniversityCharleston, Illinois1895Public9,7752005–06sw.dv.
PanthersOVCswimming and diving,[4]
men's soccer[5]

Former members[edit]

Former full members[edit]

The Summit League has twenty-one former members.

University of AkronAkron, Ohio1870Public29,25119901992ZipsMid-American (MAC)
University at BuffaloBuffalo, New York1846Public28,60119941998BullsMid-American (MAC)
Centenary College of LouisianaShreveport, Louisiana1825Private78720032011Gentlemen (men's)
Ladies (women's)
American SouthwestSCAC (Div. III)
Central Connecticut State UniversityNew Britain, Connecticut1849Public11,36019941997Blue DevilsNortheast (NEC)
Chicago State UniversityChicago, Illinois1867Public7,13119942006CougarsNCAA D-I IndependentWAC
Cleveland State UniversityCleveland, Ohio1964Public17,20419821994VikingsHorizon
Eastern Illinois UniversityCharleston, Illinois1895Public11,65119821996PanthersOVC
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago, Illinois1858Public28,09119821994FlamesHorizon
University of Missouri–Kansas City[6]Kansas City, Missouri1933Public16,01919942013KangaroosWAC
Northeastern Illinois UniversityChicago, Illinois1867Public11,14919941998Golden EaglesDiscontinued intercollegiate athletics
Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalb, Illinois1895Public25,31319901994HuskiesHorizonMid-American (MAC)
University of Northern IowaCedar Falls, Iowa1876Public11,14719821991PanthersMissouri Valley
Oakland University[7]Rochester, Michigan1957Public19,37919982013Golden GrizzliesHorizon
Southern Utah UniversityCedar City, Utah1897Public8,29719972012ThunderbirdsBig Sky
Southwest Missouri State UniversitySpringfield, Missouri1905Public21,05919821990Bears (men's)
Lady Bears (women's)
Missouri Valley
Troy State UniversityTroy, Alabama1887Public29,68919941997TrojansTAACSun Belt
University of Wisconsin–Green BayGreen Bay, Wisconsin1965Public6,70019821994PhoenixHorizon
University of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukee, Wisconsin1885Public30,50219931994PanthersHorizon
Valparaiso UniversityValparaiso, Indiana1859Private4,06119822007CrusadersHorizon
Wright State UniversityFairborn, Ohio1967Public17,78919911994RaidersHorizon
Youngstown State UniversityYoungstown, Ohio1908Public15,19419922001PenguinsHorizon
  1. - The then-Mid-Continent Conference did not sponsor women's sports until the 1992–93 school year. Cleveland State, UIC, Northern Illinois, Valparaiso, Green Bay, and Wright State were all members of the women's-only North Star Conference until the Mid-Con began sponsoring women's sports, effectively absorbing the NSC.
  2. - As noted before, the Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992–93. Before that time, Eastern Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; EIU was a member of both sides of the conference. When the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, EIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but kept its football team in the Gateway until it moved its entire athletic program into the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996.

Former associate members[edit]

Summit Sport
DePaul UniversityChicago, Illinois1898Private24,4141992–931998–99Blue DemonsBig Eastsoftball
Howard UniversityWashington, D.C.1867Private10,0001996–971998–99BisonMEACmen's soccer
C.W. Post of Long Island UniversityBrookville, New York1954Public8,4721994–951997–98PioneersEast Coast (ECC)
(NCAA Division II)
New York Institute of TechnologyNew York, New York1955Private13,0001994–951997–98BearsEast Coast (ECC)
(NCAA Division II)
Pace UniversityNew York, New York1906Private12,7721994–951997–98SettersNortheast-10 (NE-10)
(NCAA Division II)
Quincy UniversityQuincy, Illinois1860Private1,2691994–951995–96HawksGLVC
(NCAA Division II)
men's soccer
Southern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsville, Illinois1957Public13,8501994–951995–96CougarsOVCmen's soccer
University of South DakotaVermillion, South Dakota1862Public10,1512009–102010–11CoyotesSummitswimming and diving
South Dakota State UniversityBrookings, South Dakota1881Public12,8512005–062006–07JackrabbitsSummitswimming and diving
State University of New York at OneontaOneonta, New York1889Public5,8521996–971998–98Red DragonsSUNYAC
(NCAA Division III)
men's soccer


Locations of current Summit League full member institutions.


The association was created on June 18, 1982 at the O'Hare Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois[1] as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities (or AMCU or AMCU-8, pronounced Am-cue), which it was known as until 1989.[8] The conference sponsored football from 1982 until 1984 at the Division I-AA level (now Division I FCS), and current members North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois have FCS football programs.

Mid-Continent Conference logo, 1982–2007

Changes and the addition of women's sports[edit]

In the early 1990s, the conference saw its first changes. Southwest Missouri State departed for membership in the Missouri Valley Conference as the University of Akron and Northern Illinois University joined in 1990. Then Wright State University joined in 1991 as Northern Iowa followed Southwest Missouri State to the MVC.

Major changes came to the conference in 1992. First, Akron left for the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and was replaced by another Ohio school, Youngstown State University. More significantly, the Mid-Continent added women's sports by absorbing the North Star Conference (NSC), a women's-only league whose final seven members had all been in the Mid-Continent. All of the final NSC members except for Akron moved their women's sports into the Mid-Continent. At the same time, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois moved their women's sports into the Mid-Continent when their former women's sports home, the Gateway Conference, merged into the Missouri Valley Conference. A year later, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee joined the Mid-Continent.

Horizon and ECC transitions[edit]

In 1994, charter members Cleveland State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, as well as newer members Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, and Wright State left the conference to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League.

In response, the Mid-Continent absorbed Central Connecticut State University, Chicago State University, the University at Buffalo, Troy State University (now Troy University), and Northeastern Illinois University from the collapsed East Coast Conference. None of these institutions remain in the league.

Missouri-Kansas City, formerly an independent, also joined the Mid-Continent Conference in 1994.

Declining membership[edit]

Eastern Illinois moved to the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996, reducing membership to nine programs. Troy State departed for the Trans America Athletic Conference while Central Connecticut went to the Northeast Conference in 1997. Buffalo joined the MAC in 1998 while Northeastern Illinois ceased intercollegiate athletics at that time. Oral Roberts University and Southern Utah University replaced the former pair while Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Oakland University moved into the latter duo's spots a year later.

Youngstown State switched to the Horizon League in 2001, and was replaced by Centenary College in 2003. Chicago State University announced in the spring of 2006 that it would withdraw from the conference to compete as an independent starting in the 2006-07 school year. Charter member Valparaiso University then moved to the Horizon in 2007.

Renewed expansion[edit]

At the Mid-Continent Conference annual Presidents Council meeting in 2006, conference expansion was discussed at length, and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), North Dakota State, and South Dakota State were approved for site visits. On August 30, 2006, IPFW accepted an invitation to join the Mid-Continent Conference as a full member starting July 1, 2007.[9] The following day, North Dakota State and South Dakota State also accepted invitations to join the conference.[10][11]

The Summit League has continued its renewed expansion push with the admission of the University of South Dakota. The Coyotes began conference play in the 2011–12 academic year and become eligible for all championships the following season.[12] Centenary College subsequently announced that it would leave the Summit League following the 2010–2011 campaign.[13]

The University of North Dakota had also been openly rumored to have been courted by the Summit League, but uncertainty over the Fighting Sioux nickname in all likelihood prevented UND's admission. Expectations that UND would join the Summit League came to an end on November 1, 2010, when North Dakota instead accepted an invitation to join the Big Sky Conference. The University of South Dakota entered into very brief negotiations to join the Big Sky as well, rather than continuing their plans to join the Summit. However, South Dakota chose instead to remain with the more compact Summit League (along with other Dakota schools, NDSU and SDSU). As the University of Nebraska Omaha began the transition to Division I athletics in all sports, it joined the Summit League on July 1, 2012. With the departures of Centenary to Division III at the end of the 2010-11 athletic year, and Southern Utah and Oral Roberts for other Division I conferences at the end of the 2011-12 athletic year, the Summit League continued with nine institutions, all within the Midwest geographical region.[14]

The conference unveiled the University of Denver (DU) as its 10th member on November 27, 2012, and the Pioneers joined in July 2013.[15] While Denver is slightly outside The Summit's current Midwestern base, travel issues for the other members were seemingly minimized by the city's status as a major air hub.[15] Then, with Denver among the eight of ten WAC members switching to other conferences, that league was searching for new members, and on February 7, 2013, it was announced that UMKC would be one of six schools joining the WAC for the 2013-14 season,[6] dropping the Summit league back to nine member schools. On May 7, 2013, membership fell to eight schools, when Oakland announced that it was joining the Horizon League.[7] With Oakland's move, eight of the nine current Horizon League programs are former Summit League members.

In December, 2013, The Summit League office announced that Oral Roberts University was returning to the conference in all sports, effective July 1, 2014. [16]

Membership timeline[edit]

University of DenverUniversity of Nebraska OmahaUniversity of South DakotaNorth Dakota State UniversityIndiana University–Purdue University Fort WayneSouth Dakota State UniversityCentenary College of LouisianaOakland UniversityIndiana University – Purdue University IndianapolisSouthern Utah UniversityOral Roberts UniversityHoward UniversityState University of New York at OneontaUniversity of Missouri–Kansas CityTroy UniversitySouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleQuincy UniversityPace UniversityNortheastern Illinois UniversityNew York Institute of TechnologyChicago State UniversityLong Island University C. W. Post CampusCentral Connecticut State UniversityUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkUniversity of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeYoungstown State UniversityDePaul UniversityWright State UniversityNorthern Illinois UniversityUniversity of AkronWestern Illinois UniversityValparaiso UniversityEastern Illinois UniversityUniversity of Wisconsin–Green BayUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoCleveland State UniversityUniversity of Northern IowaMissouri State University

Full members Full members (non-football) Associate member (baseball, men's soccer, softball, or swimming and diving)


The Summit League sponsors championship competition in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports.[17] Former full member Eastern Illinois is an associate member for men's and women's swimming and diving and men's soccer.

Teams in Summit League competition
Cross country67
Swimming and diving67
Track and field (indoor)46
Track and field (outdoor)57


Men's basketball[edit]

Men's basketball in the NCAA tournament[edit]

1986Cleveland State14*defeated Indiana
defeated Saint Joseph's
lost to Navy
1987Southwest Missouri State[18]13defeated Clemson
lost to Kansas
1988Southwest Missouri State13lost to UNLV
1989Southwest Missouri State14lost to Seton Hall
1990Southwest Missouri State9*lost to North Carolina
Northern Iowa14defeated Missouri
lost to Minnesota
1991Green Bay12lost to Michigan State
Northern Illinois13*lost to St. John's
1992Eastern Illinois15lost to Indiana
1993Wright State16lost to Indiana
1994Green Bay12defeated California
lost to Syracuse
1996Valparaiso14lost to Arizona
1997Valparaiso12lost to Boston College
1998Valparaiso13defeated Ole Miss
defeated Florida State
lost to Rhode Island
1999Valparaiso15lost to Maryland
2000Valparaiso16lost to Michigan State
2001Southern Utah14lost to Boston College
2002Valparaiso13lost to Kentucky
2003IUPUI16lost to Kentucky
2004Valparaiso15lost to Gonzaga
2005Oakland16defeated Alabama A&M**
Lost to North Carolina
2006Oral Roberts16lost to Memphis
2007Oral Roberts14lost to Washington State
2008Oral Roberts13lost to Pittsburgh
2009North Dakota State14lost to Kansas
2010Oakland14lost to Pittsburgh
2011Oakland13lost to Texas
2012South Dakota State14lost to Baylor
2013South Dakota State13lost to Michigan
2014North Dakota State12defeated Oklahoma
lost to San Diego State

* At-large bid
** Opening round game


SchoolSoccer stadiumCapacityBasketball arenaCapacityBaseball fieldCapacitySoftball fieldCapacity
Full members
DenverCIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium2,000Magness Arena7,200Non-baseball schoolNon-softball school
IPFWHefner Soccer Complex2,000Hilliard Gates Sports Center2,300*Mastodon Field200[19]IPFW Softball Field500
IUPUICarroll Stadium12,111Fairgrounds Coliseum8,200Non-baseball schoolIUPUI Softball Complex500
North Dakota StateDacotah Field[20]2,600[21]Bison Sports Arena5,830[22]Newman Outdoor Field4,600Ellig Sports Complex[23]450
OmahaCaniglia Field[24]3,466[25]Ralston Arena (men)
Lee & Helene Sapp Fieldhouse (women)
Ballpark at Boys TownN/AWestside Field
at Westbrook
Oral RobertsCase Soccer Complex1,000Mabee Center10,575J. L. Johnson Stadium2,418Non-softball school
South DakotaUSD Soccer FieldN/ADakotaDome10,000Non-baseball schoolNygard FieldN/A
South Dakota StateFishback Soccer Park1,500Frost Arena6,500Erv Huether Field600Jackrabbit Softball Stadium200
Western IllinoisMacKenzie Alumni Field1,000Western Hall5,139Alfred D. Boyer Stadium500Mary Ellen McKee
Softball Stadium
Associate members
Eastern IllinoisLakeside Soccer Field1,000[26]Soccer-only member

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Valpo to join Conference". Green Bay, Wisconsin: The Rochester Sentinel. 19 June 1982. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Rankings
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Eastern Illinois men's soccer joins Summit League , The NCAA News, March 26, 2010
  6. ^ a b "UMKC Heading to the Western Athletic Conference - UMKC Athletics". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Oakland University to Join". Horizon League. May 7, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ The Spectrum -
  9. ^ Press Release. IPFW accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, August 30, 2006.
  10. ^ Press Release. North Dakota State University accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, August 31, 2006.
  11. ^ Press Release. South Dakota State University accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, August 31, 2006.
  12. ^ "University of South Dakota Official Athletic Site - University of South Dakota". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Centenary to leave Summit League". July 7, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ "North Dakota, Southern Utah joining Big Sky Conference - ESPN". November 1, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Denver Becomes The Summit League's Newest Member" (Press release). The Summit League. November 27, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "The Summit League". The Summit League. June 27, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ MSU was known as Southwest Missouri State University until 2005.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^

External links[edit]