Belmont University Athletics announced that it will be moving to the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) in a press conference Sept. 28 as the newest addition to the MVC since Valparaiso University joined the conference in 2017.
This addition to the MVC is the first time the conference has had a participating team located in the Mid-South in almost fifty years after the departure of Memphis State University in 1973 and the University of Louisville in 1974 from the conference.
The Nashville, Tenn. school will transition out of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) to officially become the 11th team in the MVC in 2022.
MVC Commissioner Jeff Jackson wrote about the significance of this new addition to the conference, especially the impact it will have on the MVC’s basketball programs, in a press release.
“This is truly an exciting day for the [MVC],” Jackson wrote. “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 outstanding partner and further enhance the brand and status of The Valley.”
The Bruins sponsor eight and nine team’s across men’s and women’s sports respectively. Of those sports, Loyola will face Belmont in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, golf and track and field — along with women’s softball and volleyball.
Both of the Bruins’ men’s and women’s basketball programs have seen great success since the turn of the century, with the men’s team winning 20 conference titles and making eight NCAA Tournament appearances since 2006.
The men’s team is also currently ranked at No. 90 in the ESPN College Basketball Power Index, while Loyola sits at No. 15. However, Belmont head coach Casey Alexander and his team will not meet the Ramblers until the 2022-23 season.
Meanwhile, the women’s basketball program has made five NCAA Tournament appearances since 2016 with Belmont head coach Bart Brooks leading the Bruins to over 100 wins since he joined the coaching staff in 2017.
Belmont will officially join the MVC July 1, 2022 to begin competition against pre-existing MVC teams for the Fall 2022 season.