IUPUI joins the Horizon League

This upcoming school year, the Golden Grizzlies can expect to welcome an old foe back to campus. The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Jaguars are joining the Horizon League following Valparaiso’s swift exit to join the Missouri Valley Conference. The Horizon League Board of Directors unanimously approved IUPUI’s application back in June.

“It is clear that the vision, values and mission of IUPUI are clearly aligned with those that we champion in the Horizon League,” said George W. Hynd, former Oakland University president and chairman of the Horizon League Board of Directors in a press release. “The addition of IUPUI will affirm our commitment to excellence in promoting the student-athlete experience and impact at all of our Horizon League institutions. On behalf of the Board, I want to convey our enthusiasm and congratulations to the newest member of the Horizon League.”

The remaining nine schools remaining after Valpo’s departure were told that there would only be nine schools competing this year, but the Jaguars were a last minute addition that none of the schools in the Horizon League knew about until the official announcement had been made.

We had scheduled it like Valpo wasn’t going to be in the league,” men’s basketball head coach Greg Kampe said. “So we just had to drop a couple games to play IUPUI so that was a bit disconcerting that we had to go through that, but that’s part of the growth of the league is you accept it and move on.”

IUPUI previously faced off against Oakland in the Summit League before Oakland decided to leave the Summit League in 2013. There has been long interest for the Jaguars to join the Horizon League given that the Horizon League’s corporate office is based in Indianapolis which will be a big media market for the league.

“[IUPUI] is definitely in our geographic footprint,” said Oakland Athletics Director Jeff Konya. “They’re in a city with population that has an interest in sports … so it’s valuable from a media perspective in terms of being in tune with the Horizon League and intercollegiate athletics, and understanding what our brand is, creating stories and writing about us.”

The Jaguars will play in 18 out of 19 of the Horizon League sports — excluding baseball — starting this upcoming school year.