MVC Officially Welcomes Loyola Chicago

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By WSIL Sports

CHICAGO -- The Missouri Valley Conference formally welcomed its newest member Friday morning. Loyola University Chicago will join the Valley starting July 1st. It will mark the first change in membership since Tulsa left the league in 1996.

"We had some very good options," MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin said. "But I think we've chosen the university that is the right fit."

Loyola is a private Roman Catholic university located in downtown Chicago. It's campus sits on the shore of Lake Michigan and has more than 15,000 students, making it the fourth largest school in the conference.

"Our brand will raise the profile of this institution," Elgin said. "The fact that we're in the Chicago marketplace is going to do wonders."

"It's critically important that we have a tether or an anchor here in Chicago and we've got one now," SIU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia said. "It's a place that our fans can come at a minimum once a year."

One of the biggest reasons Loyola wanted to join the Missouri Valley is men's basketball. Ramblers head coach Porter Moser is excited about the move to the Valley. He played at Creighton in the late 1980's and was the head coach at Illinois State from 2003-07.

"What an awesome challenge in front of us," Moser said. "The challenges of an awesome conference, rivalries, student bodies, traditions, institutions, and we belong. "We most definitely belong and we'll be ready."

One thing that Loyola brings to the Valley that no other team can claim is a national championship in men's basketball. The Ramblers won the title in 1963.

The Valley visited four universities before picking Loyola. The other finalists were University of Illinois-Chicago, Valparaiso and University of Missouri-Kansas City.
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