FORT WAYNE, Ind. (PFW Athletics) - Purdue University Fort Wayne announced today that it will join the Horizon League and will begin competition during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Horizon League Board of Directors approved the university’s application for membership this week. Purdue Fort Wayne will officially join the League on July 1, 2020.
Officials from the university and the Horizon League made the joint announcement during a news conference held on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus this morning.
“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 are 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.”
“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.”
The Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons are now entering their second full season of play under the Purdue brand, which was adopted in July 2018 as part of the university’s realignment under the Purdue University system.
“A great league of great schools just got even stronger and more competitive,” said Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. “Purdue Fort Wayne will bring new fans, new visibility, and instant rivalries. It’s a good move for all concerned.”
The university’s move to the Horizon League becomes effective with the 2020-2021 academic year. The university will continue as a member of the Summit League for the current 2019-2020 academic year.
“I know our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and fans are bursting with pride and excitement as we begin the transition into a new League and new levels of competition,” said Kelley Hartley Hutton, Athletic Director at Purdue Fort Wayne. “We are incredibly grateful to our donors and friends who have provided financial support to help offset the costs of transitioning to a new athletics conference.”
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 in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.
The Horizon League currently includes ten universities: Cleveland State University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Kentucky University, Oakland University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Wright State University, and Youngstown State University. Purdue Fort Wayne is located at the center point of the League, an average of 170 miles from each member.
“We are pleased to welcome Purdue University Fort Wayne to the Horizon League family. It is clear that the vision, values, and mission of Purdue University Fort Wayne are clearly aligned with those we champion in the Horizon League,” said Mark Mone, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Horizon League Chairman of the Board.