MADISON, Wis.--The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) announced today that Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL) will be joining the WIAC as an affiliate member in the sport of baseball effective with the 2017-18 academic year.
With the addition of Illinois Tech, the WIAC will once again have seven institutions fielding baseball teams to include current conference members UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-Stout, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater.
“We are extremely pleased and fortunate to have an institution with the outstanding academic profile and competitive baseball program of Illinois Tech join our conference”, commented WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner. “The addition of Illinois Tech will not only expand the footprint of the conference and alleviate some non-conference scheduling difficulties, but will ultimately result in the WIAC regaining an automatic bid for the NCAA baseball playoffs”, added Karner.
“The opportunity to compete in one of Division III’s most successful conferences will be a great experience for our baseball program,” said Illinois Tech Athletic Director Joe Hakes. “As we complete our move to the division, we want to push ourselves to grow and develop as a department. This will certainly be a good step in that direction.”
Located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, Illinois Tech is a private, technology-focused research university, known worldwide for developing innovation and entrepreneurship in its graduates. Illinois Tech competes as an independent and is currently in the NCAA Division III provisional membership process. It is anticipated that the institution will be granted active membership status effective with the 2018-19 academic year.
The WIAC is comprised of eight institutions from the University of Wisconsin System competing at the NCAA Division III level to include UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW- Stevens Point, UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater.