UIC Joins MAC for Men’s Swimming and Diving


The Mid-American Conference (MAC) today announced the addition of the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) as an affiliate member for men’s swimming and diving, effective for the 2022-23 academic year.

With the addition of UIC, the MAC will have seven programs competing in men’s swimming and diving. Two full member institutions (Ball State & Miami) will be joined by five affiliate members (Evansville, UIC, Missouri State, Southern Illinois & Valparaiso).

“I am pleased to welcome UIC as an affiliate member in men’s swimming and diving,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. “We have developed a strong Conference from across the Midwest that provides the opportunity for the participating student-athletes to excel at the highest levels of collegiate swimming.”

UIC joined  the Missouri Valley Conference this year, but the league does not currently sponsor men’s swimming and diving.  The Flames swam in the Horizon League for the last 28 years, winning the 2009 conference championship, finishing as runners-up in 2011, and posting; nine third place finishes, including in two of the last three years.  Forty-nine Flames won Horizon League championships in individual events, and 13 relay teams finished on top of the podium. Two UIC swimmers earned conference Athlete of the Year accolades, and seven Flames were named Swimmer or Diver of the Meet at the conference championships.

“We are excited for our men’s swimming student-athletes to participate in the MAC alongside our MVC peers,” said Director of Athletics Michael Lipitz. “We thank Commissioner Steinbrecher and the league members for their partnership and look forward to the upcoming season.”

Flames head swimming coach Ashley Dell said, “It’s a great day for men’s swimming & diving at UIC! We are so excited to be joining the MAC and look forward to the opportunity of competing against these high-level programs. Being a member of the MAC will challenge our men to be the best version of themselves in and out of the pool and I am so proud of the hunger and enthusiasm I see in this team already.”

UIC Athletics has been an NCAA Division I member since 1981. The Chicago-based institution is a member of the University of Illinois System, with over 300 of the nation’s best and brightest student-athletes competing in 18 sports. The Flames have claimed 75 conference championships and earned 47 NCAA postseason appearances over the past 40 years, during which UIC coaches have earned 55 Coach of the Year honors. In addition, the Flames have claimed 83 Conference Player of the Year Awards and 20 student-athletes have been honored with All-America status. In the classroom, UIC student-athletes excel at an elite level, with an active streak of 14 consecutive semesters of a 3.0+ department-wide GPA and a 91% Graduation Success Rate.

Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 24 championships and is one of 10 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in five states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio.

Current MAC schools and the year they joined are — East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the MAC. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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