On Wednesday, Lindenwood University officially accepted an invitation to join the Ohio Valley Conference starting in the fall of 2022. Lindenwood, which sponsors all 18 of the OVC’s championship sports, will become official members on July 1, 2022. Lindenwood marks only the 24th full-time member in the 74-year history of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Ohio Valley Conference is adding Lindenwood as the 10th full-time member for the 2022-23 school year. Lindenwood will join Southeast Missouri State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Eastern Illinois University, Morehead State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, University of Southern Indiana, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Martin as OVC full member institutions.
Lindenwood is set to begin its reclassification process to the NCAA Division I level during the 2022-23 academic year. The Lions will be included in OVC regular season schedules and be eligible to compete in OVC Championships. Eligibility for Lindenwood to earn automatic bids to NCAA Championships begins in 2026-27, its first full season of full Division I membership.
Lindenwood became a full NCAA Division II member during the 2013-14 school year. As one of the largest athletic departments in the country, Lindenwood supports 29 sports at the NCAA level. With a student-athlete population exceeding 1,400 at Lindenwood, more than 700 compete in an NCAA sport. Lindenwood has an overall enrollment of just north of 7,000 students from all across the world.
Since joining the NCAA, Lindenwood has won four National Championships, with the most recent being the 2021 Women’s Lacrosse team. In 2017, Lindenwood ranked sixth in the NCAA Directors’ Cup, which included five team conference titles. In the NCAA era, Lindenwood has claimed three regional championships, 31 conference titles, and eight conference tournament championships. Lindenwood has garnered 13 individual national champions at the NCAA level. In addition to the individual achievement, six student-athlete have earned the NCAA Elite 90 Award for academic and athletic success throughout the season. Lindenwood’s NCAA sport programs have combined for a 3.0 GPA or higher since the start of the 2013-14 school year.
“Today is an exciting day in the history of Lindenwood University,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Brad Wachler. “Over the last 10 years at the NCAA Division II level, we were fortunate to find great success on and off the field of play. We are now prepared more than ever to make the transition to the highest level of college sports. We are thankful for the Ohio Valley Conference’s partnership and look forward to working together to elevate the student-athlete experience.”