Loyola University Chicago announced Tuesday afternoon it will leave the Missouri Valley Conference at the end of the season and join the Atlantic 10 Conference.
"The A-10 is widely regarded as one of the top leagues in the country for its success in competition and in the classroom. This move will continue to grow our visibility at a national level, while at the same time placing us in a league with three other Jesuit institutions," University President Dr. Jo Ann Rooney said in a statement.
"We are confident this is a move that positions Loyola for even greater success, both athletically and academically, in the future."
— Loyola Ramblers (@LoyolaRamblers) November 16, 2021
Loyola's athletic department took the national spotlight largely due to the success of their men’s basketball team, which made an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2021 and the NCAA Final Four in 2018. The men’s volleyball team won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2014 and 2015.
The athletic department has succeeded academically as well, producing seven CoSIDA Academic All-America selections and consistently ranking near the top in the NCAA Graduation Success Rate.
Loyola gives the A-10 footing in three of the four major sports markets in the country -- New York, Philadelphia, and now Chicago.
Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade noted Loyola was a "perfect fit for the A-10."
The Missouri Valley Conference loses a marquee program and one of their top competitors in almost all sports. Belmont has been identified as a school to fill the void left by Loyola.
"We are extremely grateful for our time in the Missouri Valley Conference, which has provided a wonderful home for Rambler Athletics for nearly a decade," Director of Athletics Steve Watson. "We also look forward to renewing some rivalries as well as helping build the Loyola brand as a member of the A-10."
Loyola will be the fourth Jesuit institution in the conference, joining Fordham University, Saint Joseph's University and Saint Louis University.