Belmont To Join Missouri Valley Conference

Belmont University is joining the Missouri Valley Conference as its 11th member, Belmont President Dr. L. Gregory Jones announced at a press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The Bruins are leaving the Ohio Valley Conference after spending 10 years in the conference, including this upcoming season.

“Joining the Missouri Valley Conference represents a natural step forward for our already high-achieving and well-respected programs,” Jones said. “Given the collective accomplishments of the conference and the prominence of its member institutions, we believe this is a great move for Belmont and sets us up for even greater success in the future.”

Belmont is the fourth school to leave the OVC within the past year and the second to announce its departure this month after Austin Peay announced it was joining the ASUN. Belmont will officially join the MVC on July 1, 2022.

The Bruins join Bradley University, Drake University, the University of Evansville, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Loyola University Chicago, Missouri State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois University and Valparaiso University.

“On behalf of our coaches and athletic staff, we are thrilled to become the newest member of the Missouri Valley Conference,” Belmont Vice President, Director of Athletics Scott Corley offered. “Joining the MVC will elevate our level of competition, enhance our recruiting, and increase our opportunities for national exposure. We look forward to competing for championships in The Valley against so many quality institutions.”

The Bruins men’s and women’s basketball teams have been the top programs in the OVC for many years. The men have won the regular season championship eight times and the OVC Tournament Title three times, with three NCAA Tournament appearances. The women have won the regular season championship three times and the conference tournament five times.

“I would like to thank Beth DeBauche, the OVC staff, and member schools for the past nine years,” Corley added. “We have enjoyed the relationships and rivalries made over that time and wish the conference continued success.”

Since joining NCAA Division I in 1996, the Bruins have won 62 conference championships and earned 47 NCAA Tournament appearances. Belmont’s history includes 24 All-America selections, with several teams receiving national Top 25 poll votes–most notably the Bruins’ nationally-regarded men’s and women’s basketball programs.

“This is truly an exciting day for the Missouri Valley Conference,” summed MVC Commissioner Jeff Jackson. “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.”

Steven Boero