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Southern Illinois to join MAC in wrestling and men's soccer

Record-Courier Staff Report Published: June 3, 2017 4:00 AM

Southern Illinois University will join the Mid-American Conference as an affiliate member in men's soccer and wrestling, the conference announced Friday.

SIU will begin as an affiliate member in men's soccer beginning with the 2018 season and wrestling for the 2018-19 season.

With the addition of SIU, the MAC will consist of six men's soccer programs -- four from full MAC membership (Akron, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan) and two affiliate members (SIU and West Virginia).

The MAC will consist of nine wrestling programs -- six from full MAC membership (Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois and Ohio) and three affiliate members (Missouri, Old Dominion and SIU).

"After significant study and discussion by our member institution's coaches and administrators, the Mid-American Conference has made a move to strengthen the conference with the addition of SIU-Edwardsville as an affiliate member in both men's soccer and wrestling," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference.

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"Both programs will add quality and depth to the conference. I am pleased to welcome SIU Edwardsville, their student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans to the Mid-American Conference."

"Joining the Mid-American Conference as an affiliate member in these two sports is not only a compliment, but also a recognition and validation of each program's recent success," SIU Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt said.

"We are thankful for the opportunities granted and support given by the Missouri Valley Conference in men's soccer and the Southern Conference in wrestling.

"Conference affiliations are always evolving, and institutions are constantly pursuing the best academic, social and competitive opportunities for their student-athletes," Hewitt continued.

"Our decision to accept the MAC's invitation is based on many factors, including increased national branding, cost containment, augmentation of existing rivalries, the development of new regional rivalries and SIUE's general student recruitment focus in major metropolitan areas. Our coaches, student-athletes and fans are going to be excited for these new challenges."


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