Roo Community and Fans:
I am excited to announce that UMKC Athletics will be transitioning to the Summit League, beginning July 1, 2020. We will become the 10th member of the Summit League joining the University of Denver; Purdue University Fort Wayne; University of North Dakota; North Dakota State University; University of Nebraska Omaha; Oral Roberts University; University of South Dakota; South Dakota State University; and Western Illinois University. This move will undoubtedly position our student-athletes, coaches, staff members for comprehensive excellence.
While the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) has provided marginal opportunities for growth, the WAC’s strategic direction no longer aligns with the mission and goals of both the University and the Department of Athletics. To this end, by rejoining the Summit League, the following goals can be achieved: costs savings, enhanced student-athlete welfare, and increased visibility with our new brand identity.
Given that student-athlete welfare is our prime directive, the ability to operate within a smaller geographic footprint would provide our student-athletes with less travel time and additional time to recover physically from competition. Additionally, our transition will allow more support staff, in the form of academic advisors, tutors, and mental health professionals to supplement the academic and psychological needs of our student-athletes while traveling.
It is my hope that our fans and the Kansas City community will embrace our reconnection with the Summit League. The geographic footprint of the Summit League will allow our alumni, fans, students, and donors to travel to member institutions to support our student-athletes. Having a traveling fan base will inevitably foster a sense of belonging, community, and pride within the UMKC community. This move will also provide opportunities for potential rivalries within the Summit League and geographic region for our fans.
UMKC Athletics is committed to our quest for comprehensive excellence – competitive success, fiscal responsibility, visibility of our new brand, academic excellence, and fan engagement. The Summit League provides us with an optimal opportunity to best achieve these goals while elevating our university and inspiring Kansas City.
Join me in celebrating this victory for Kansas City’s College Team.