SIOUX FALLS – Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple on Thursday announced the addition of the University of Missouri-Kansas City as the conference’s 10th full-time member.
UMKC is set to rejoin the league on July 1, 2020, and all 16 of the Kangaroos’ athletic programs will compete in The Summit League beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.
“On behalf of the Presidents Council, I am pleased to announce the return of UMKC to The Summit League,” said Douple. “The university has a strong academic reputation and aligns well with our membership and the athletic department is a great addition to our Midwest footprint. We look forward to having the ‘Roos compete beginning the fall of 2020.”
UMKC was a member of The Summit League from 1994-2013 capturing multiple championships in men’s soccer (2001, 2003, 2010), men’s tennis (1998-2000, 2010-13), softball (2002, 2011) and indoor and outdoor track and field titles on both the men’s and women’s side from 1997-2000 during its first 19-year run.
“The Presidents Council is extremely supportive of UMKC’s return to The Summit League,” said Dr. Dean L. Bresciani, North Dakota State University President and Chair of The Summit League’s Membership Committee, “UMKC provides an opportunity to enhance our membership and the council is enthusiastic for the future of The Summit League.”
The Kangaroos will have spent seven seasons as members of the Western Athletic Conference, but return to their Division I roots with an eye towards creating rivalries in the Midwest. UMKC will be the sixth Summit League located along the Interstate 29 corridor.
“These changes are about competitive excellence, positioning our student-athletes and teams to win conference and NCAA postseason championships,” said UMKC Athletics Director Brandon Martin, Ph. D. “This also will help inspire Roo Nation, elevating the fan experience, creating rivalries and partnerships that make games, not only competitive, but fun and exciting. This, coupled with fiscal savings, is a win-win.”
Founded in 1933, UMKC’s enrollment reached upwards of 17,000 students during the 2018-19 academic year. The Kangaroos will field Summit League teams in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and softball.
About The Summit League
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Current member institutions include: Denver, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, Purdue Fort Wayne, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level.