December 2, 2008
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Missouri Valley Conference commissioner Doug Elgin has announced the addition of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the University of Central Arkansas as men's soccer affiliate members, beginning in the 2010 season. SIU Edwardsville men's soccer is making its fast-tracked return to Division I, two years ahead of a department-wide return to Division I affiliation, while Central Arkansas recently completed its third season as a Division I Independent in men's soccer after 10 seasons as a Division II power.
"We're pleased to welcome SIU Edwardsville and Central Arkansas as men's soccer affiliates," Elgin commented. "Both programs have successful track records and championship pedigrees, which will add more depth to our already talented conference. The dedication to men's soccer on each campus is a natural fit with the tremendous support the sport receives in the Missouri Valley and the community support in and around Edwardsville, including Saint Louis, and Conway (Ark.) adds to the excitement in our other league cities."
SIU Edwardsville is one of 21 schools to have captured an NCAA Division I men's soccer championship (1979) and boasts over 470 wins in program history.
SIU Edwardsville is transitioning back to Division I athletics after reclassifying to Division II in 1996 when it joined the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Cougars will become full-fledged Division I members in 2012-13 as members of the Ohio Valley Conference for all other sports. Men's soccer is one of two sports designated as "fast-track" sports by the SIUE (softball), both of which will attain full Division I privileges, including post-season eligibility, in the 2010-11 season.
Central Arkansas has posted eight winning seasons in its 13-year existence, quickly rising to one of the top programs at the Division II level prior to its transition to Division I in 2006. In its short time in Division I, UCA has posted wins over members of Conference USA, MAC, MPSF, Summit, Atlantic Sun and Missouri Valley Conference.
The Missouri Valley Conference has a strong men's soccer history, including 32 All-America selections, four national players of the year, over 200 professional soccer players, 33 NCAA Tournament appearances and four NCAA College Cup trips. In 2007, Bradley advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and Creighton made a trip to the final 16. This year, Creighton advanced to its 17th-consecutive NCAA Tournament and Drake earned its first trip - the 12th time in league history that at least two teams have earned berths into the tournament.
The addition of SIUE and Central Arkansas increases MVC men's soccer membership to eight teams.
Current men's soccer league members include: Bradley University, Creighton University, Drake University, Eastern Illinois University, the University of Evansville and Missouri State University.
About SIUE men's soccer: Athletics Director: Dr. Brad Hewitt Head Coach: Kevin Kalish (Saint Louis, 1999) All-time record: 472-230-56 (.660) (1967-present; 42 seasons) Notables: 1979 NCAA Division I national champions; 1972 college division champions; 1975 NCAA Division I runner-up; 1977 NCAA Division I third place; 1982 NCAA Division I semifinalist; 2001 Division II semifinalists; 2004 Division II runner-up; 2005 Division II semifinalist; 21 NCAA Tournament bids (14 Division I, 7 Division II)
About Central Arkansas men's soccer: Athletics Director: Dr. Brad Teague Head Coach: Chad Flanders (Illinois State, 1994) All-time record: 126-93-17 (.570) (1996-present; 13 seasons) Notables: 2002 Division II semifinalist; 2004 Division II quarterfinalist; 2005 Division II regional; three NCAA Division II Tournament bids
All-Time MVC Men's Soccer Affiliates: Belmont (2000); Eastern Illinois (1996-present); Southern Methodist (2000-2004); Texas Christian (2000); Tulsa (2000-2004); Vanderbilt (1997-2005); Western Kentucky (1997-2007)