UMKC switching leagues: Headed for WAC in July

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Change is in the air for UMKC Athletics.

The Western Athletic Conference has welcomed a new member to the league. The University of Missouri-Kansas City has accepted an invitation to join the WAC, effective July 1, 2013.

As the ninth member of the conference, all 16 of the university’s sports will be eligible for postseason championship play at both the conference and NCAA level. In its 50 years, the WAC has sent at least two teams to the NCAA tournament in men’s basketball in 24 of the last 29 seasons.

“We are excited about this new era in UMKC Athletics,” Director of Athletics Tim Hall said. “We look forward to competing alongside the institutions in the WAC and providing a great experience for our student-athletes.”

The Roos will be joining California State University, Bakersfield; Chicago State University; Grand Canyon University; University of Idaho; New Mexico State University; Seattle University; The University of Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley University.

The university has seen league success in recent years. In the 2011-2012 athletic season, the Kangaroos finished 5th in the Summit League Commissioner’s Cup standings. The men’s tennis team also won the Summit League Tournament title that year.

UMKC’s mens basketball team will be looking forward to a change in the league schedule having limited success during its time in its current conference. Head men’s basketball coach Matt Brown has struggled to break the 16-win plateau in each of the program’s last four campaigns.The Lady Roos, on the other hand, relished in the league, finishing in the top half of the conference the last three years.

UMKC was a member of the Summit League for 19 years before announcing its withdrawal from the league, effective June 30, 2013.

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