Purdue Fort Wayne announced Tuesday that it will be leaving the Summit League for the Horizon League, beginning competition in its new conference in the 2020-2021 academic year. The university's application for membership was approved this week by the Horizon League's Board of Directors.
The transition from the Summit League to the Horizon League for the Mastodons will officially take place July 1, 2020.
"We are excited to welcome Purdue Fort Wayne to the Horizon League family," said Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone. "The Mastodons align with the Horizon League's mission, vision, and core values and is located in the middle of our geographic footprint. Their addition will bring competitive potential, especially in men's basketball, and an engaged and vitalized community. Purdue Fort Wayne is the right school at the right time."
Purdue Fort Wayne has undergone extensive changes in recent years culminating with Tuesday's conference realignment news. Previously known as IPFW, the Mastodons adapted "Fort Wayne" as their brand before settling on "Purdue Fort Wayne" a year ago. 2019 will be the second year under the Purdue brand, which will continue into 2020 as it transitions to its new conference.
"This is a wonderful day for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and fans," said Purdue Fort Wayne Chancellor Ronald L. Elsenbaumer. "Our student-athletes and coaches are ready and eager to compete at the highest levels, and this move will provide incredible opportunities for them to shine. We are honored to join such an impressive group of universities in a league that is such a perfect fit for us."
Purdue Fort Wayne will continue as a member of the Summit League, where it has been a member since 2007, for the current 2019-2020 academic year.
Purdue Fort Wayne fields teams in 16 NCAA Division I sports and will sponsor 15 teams in the Horizon League: men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. The men's volleyball program will continue to compete but will do so in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.