Truman State moves from MIAA to GLVC

In this 2012 file photo, Lincoln first baseman Isaac Cater reaches for a pick-off throw as Truman State’s Steven Rose slides safely back to the base during a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association contest at Lincoln Field. Truman State officially left the MIAA on Monday.

In this 2012 file photo, Lincoln first baseman Isaac Cater reaches for a pick-off throw as Truman State’s Steven Rose slides safely back to the base during a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association contest at Lincoln Field. Truman State officially left the MIAA on Monday. Photo by News Tribune.

After more than 100 years of competition in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, a founding member has moved on.

Monday marked the official first day in the Great Lakes Valley Conference for Truman State.

“It’s a different change for everybody,” Truman sports information director Kevin White said Monday afternoon. “I think they’ll see that the GLVC is a better fit for us. We think the same thing.”

The MIAA will have 14 teams this season, seven of those being from Missouri.

Today’s MIAA is a far cry from what it was when it was founded in 1912.

First called the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Association, 14 schools from Missouri made up the original conference including Truman, Culver Stockton, Central Missouri State, Central Methodist, Missouri Valley, Southeast Missouri State, Drury, Tarkio, William Jewell, Missouri State, Northwest Missouri State, Central Wesleyan, Missouri Wesleyan, and Westminster.

Schools came and left throughout the years, including Lincoln, which arrived in 1970. The Blue Tigers left in 1999 and returned in 2010.

The big shift in geography came in 1989 with the addition of Kansas schools Washburn and Pittsburg State. Expansion took off in the last decade as the conference added Fort Hays State, Lindenwood, Nebraska Kearney, Nebraska Omaha (which left to become Division I) Northeastern State (Okla.) and Central Oklahoma.

White said the proximity of Truman to other conference schools should help when it comes to recruiting and should help the fan base stay better connected with the school. Eight GLVC schools are within a four-hour drive from Kirksville, and the school has an alumni base in Kansas City and St. Louis where conference members UMSL, Maryville, Rockhurst and William Jewell reside.

“We see ourselves more aligned like the other institutions in the GLVC,” White said. “Having seven schools from the state of Missouri in the GLVC obviously added to it.”

Leaving one of the top football conferences certainly shouldn’t hurt either.

White noted Missouri S&T has had success in football in the GLVC after being in the bottom of the MIAA for decades. The Miners went 10-1 last season, tied for the most wins in school history. They struggled during their time in the MIAA, which included a 58-game conference losing streak from 1998-2004.

“A winning football team really helps spirit and morale,” White said. “We hope that our team will have similar success when they make the jump.”

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