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Horizon League facts for kids

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The Horizon League is a NCAA conference that plays in the NCAA Division I. The conference is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and features universities and colleges from the Great Lakes Region. While it plays many sports, it has never played football.


The Horizon League was founded in 1979 as the Midwestern City Conference (MCC) with six members. None of these schools are in the league now. The school that has been in the league the longest is Detroit Mercy, which joined in 1980 (when it was known as simply "Detroit").

The conference changed its name in 1985 to Midwestern Collegiate Conference. In 1993, the largest conference expansion in NCAA history that did not involve a merger was announced. Six schools left the Mid-Continent Conference, now known as The Summit League, to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference for the 1994–95 school year. In June 2001, the conference changed its name to the current Horizon League to avoid confusion with the "other" MCC (which did not become The Summit League until 2007).

Today, nine of the Horizon League's 12 full members (those playing most, if not all, of their sports in the league) are former members of The Summit League. At this time, the only exceptions are longtime member Detroit Mercy, 2015 arrival Northern Kentucky, and 2020 arrival Robert Morris.

The most recent changes in the conference membership happened in July 2020 when Purdue Fort Wayne and Robert Morris joined.


Currently, the Horizon League has 12 full members.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio 1964 Public Vikings 1994
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit. Michigan 1877 Private Titans 1980
University of Wisconsin–Green Bay (Green Bay) Green Bay, Wisconsin 1965 Public Phoenix 1994
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Indianapolis, Indiana 1969 Public Jaguars 2017
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (Milwaukee) Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1956 Public Panthers 1994
Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, Kentucky 1968 Public Norse 2015
Oakland University Rochester, Michigan 1957 Public Golden Grizzlies 2013
Purdue University Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, Indiana 1964 Public Mastodons 2020
Robert Morris University Moon Township, Pennsylvania 1921 Private Colonials 2020
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Chicago, Illinois 1946 Public Flames 1994
Wright State University Dayton, Ohio 1964 Public Raiders 1994
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 Public Penguins 2001

Former full members

A total of 14 schools have been full members, but are no longer in the league.

Nicknames are those used when the schools were conference members.

School Location Founded Joined Left Type Nickname Current Conference
Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 1855 1979 2012 Private Bulldogs Big East
University of Dayton Dayton, Ohio 1850 1987 1993 Private Flyers Atlantic 10
Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1878 1992 1993 Private Dukes Atlantic 10
University of Evansville Evansville, Indiana 1854 1979 1994 Private Purple Aces Missouri Valley
La Salle University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1863 1992 1995 Private Explorers Atlantic 10
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, Illinois 1870 1979 2013 Private Ramblers Missouri Valley
Marquette University Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1881 1988 1991 Private Warriors Big East
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois 1895 1994 1997 Public Huskies MAC
University of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana 1842 1982
Private Fighting Irish ACC
Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 1904 1979 1985 Private Chiefs Sooner (NAIA)
Oral Roberts University Tulsa, Oklahoma 1963 1979 1987 Private Titans The Summit
Saint Louis University St. Louis, Missouri 1818 1981 1991 Private Billikens Atlantic 10
Valparaiso University Valparaiso, Indiana 1859 2007 2017 Private Crusaders Missouri Valley
Xavier University Cincinnati, Ohio 1831 1979 1995 Private Musketeers Big East

Former associate members

Many NCAA conferences have one or more "associate" members that play only a limited number of sports in the conference, usually one. The Horizon League does not have such a member now, but has had one in the past.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Horizon League
Joined Left Main conference Conference in former
Horizon sport
Belmont University Nashville, Tennessee 1890 Private Bruins Men's soccer 2014 2018 OVC SoCon

See also

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