UMKC has notified the Summit League of its intention to withdraw from that conference, effective June 30, 2013.
UMKC will be immediately eligible for postseason championship play at both the conference and NCAA level in each of its 16 sports. The WAC holds an automatic NCAA postseason berth in each of the sponsored team sports.
The WAC has a 50-year history of intercollegiate competition and has had tremendous success in the NCAA postseason in all of its sports during this time. In men's basketball, the WAC has sent at least two teams to the NCAA Tournament in 24 of the past 29 seasons. UMKC becomes the ninth member of the Western Athletic Conference in 2013-14, joining California State University, Bakersfield; Chicago State University; Grand Canyon University; University of Idaho; New Mexico State University; Seattle University, The University of Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley University.
"We accepted the invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference because of the strong potential alignment it offers with our strategic objectives related to community engagement and financial strength," said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton.
"We are extremely pleased with the addition of UMKC to the WAC family," said WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd. "It not only solidifies our membership for the 2013-14 season, but also gives us a strong core of institutions that will help the WAC reestablish itself as a top Division I conference."
"We are excited about this new era in UMKC Athletics," Director of Athletics Tim Hall said. "We look forward to competing alongside the institutions in the WAC and providing a great experience for our student-athletes."
UMKC and WAC officials will discuss the move in detail at a press conference Thursday Feb. 14 on the UMKC Campus. The start time and location for the press conference will be announced at a later date.
(Note: UMKC officials will decline to answer questions about the move to the WAC prior to the Feb. 14 press conference.)