Cleveland, Ohio - (Aug. 7, 2009) The Mid-American Conference today announced the addition of three new affiliate members in men's swimming and diving for the upcoming 2009-2010 season. Evansville, Missouri State and Southern Illinois have each signed a six-year agreement with the conference through the 2015 school year.
"I am extremely pleased to welcome the addition of these three fine institutions as affiliate members of the Mid-American Conference," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. "With all three joining us in a long-term relationship, we look forward to working with their fine student-athletes and athletic staff and certainly welcome them to our family of institutions."
The addition of three new affiliate members brings the number of schools competing in men's swimming and diving to seven, joining current MAC members Ball State, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Miami.
"We have always had a lot of respect for the Mid-American Conference and the schools involved in the sport of swimming and diving", said Evansville Athletic Director, John Stanley. When the opportunity arose for us to join the conference as an affiliate member of that sport, it had a lot of appeal because of the geographic proximity and other factors. Consequently, it is a great opportunity for us to compete with schools in our market along with those in our conference also joining the MAC as affiliate members for swimming and diving."
This year's 2010 MAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championship will take place March 3-5 at Eastern Michigan University.
"It's certainly an honor for the consortium of schools from our conference to be invited to participate in the MAC for men's swimming and diving," said Missouri State's Director of Athletics, Kyle Moats. "The quality and tradition of the MAC makes sense for us from a competitive standpoint, and it will result in a better situation for our student-athletes."
Last year, Eastern Michigan earned the MAC championship in the joint Mid-American Conference and Sun Belt Conference swimming and diving championship, which were held in Nashville, Tenn. Last academic year, Evansville, Missouri State and Southern Illinois were members in the Sun Belt Conference.
"We are very excited about the direction of our men's swimming program and the new opportunity within the Mid-American Conference," said Mario Moccia, Southern Illinois Athletic Director. "Rick Walker (Southern Illinois Head Swimming Coach) was a proponent of this move. I believe the biggest benefit to our program will be that Carbondale (Ill.) will host the MAC Championships on a rotational basis, which will bring hundreds of student-athletes, coaches, parents and fans to Carbondale. Hosting the championships will give us not only a competitive advantage, but also add a stimulus for our local business community."