JEFFERSON CITY − Starting in the 2024-25 school year, Lincoln University will become the newest institution in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The university held a press conference Thursday morning announcing the big move. The Blue Tigers have been part of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association since 2010. 

"I'm excited, I didn't sleep last night," LU President John B. Moseley said.

Dr. Kevin Wilson, vice president of advancement, athletics and campus recreation says this is not the same "passive" LU. They are eager to continue providing what their programs need for the betterment of the university. 

Not only are the Blue Tigers joining a new conference, but baseball and men and women's soccer are also being added to the university's athletics department. Baseball will return for the first time since 2017 at the university. 

"We have a very passionate group of baseball alumni that are in very prominent positions here in Jefferson City," Wilson said. "They were willing to do whatever to help bring the baseball program back, and that largely factored into our confidence in bringing it back in the right way." 

"It's a perfect fit for us and the student population we serve," LU Board of Curators President Victor Pasley said. 

For the past two years, Pasley said curators have been discussing the need to join an athletic conference that is "more appropriately aligned in LU's size and values."

"Joining this conference creates a level playing field for our sports programs," Pasley said. "Which allows us to be more competitive. 

The conference includes the following schools:

  • William Jewell College (Liberty, Missouri)
  • Rockhurst University (Kansas City, Missouri)
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Missouri)
  • Drury University (Springfield, Missouri)
  • Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Missouri) 
  • Maryville University (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Missouri S&T (Rolla, Missouri)
  • University of Missouri - St. Louis
  • McKendree University (Lebanon, Illinois)
  • University of Illinois - Springfield (Illinois)
  • Quincy University (Quincy, Illinois)
  • Lewis University (Romeoville, Illinois)
  • University of Indianapolis (Indiana)

"The curators believe a successful athletic program impacts the entire university and communities in a positive way," Pasley said. 

LU participated in the GLVC from 2014 to 2018, but only in football - a key component in their decision. 

"We went into every game with the opportunity to compete. Travel was easier, our fans were in cities where our alumni base has a large contingency, so it was really good for us," Wilson said about the background he received from long-time staff member Betty Villalobos after joining the staff in 2021. 

Additionally, LU is set to become the first HBCU in GLVC history. 

"We're going to continue to do what most Historically Black College and Universities do, and that's blaze new trails," Wilson said. "Just be great representatives of the culture and the power that resides here." 

LU will be the 14th institution to join the conference and the ninth in Missouri.

Wilson explained that they're looking for "builders" in the coach role. 

"A person that is really willing to get into the weeds of establishing the culture that they want," Wilson said. "Secondly we're going to look for an individual that wants to be here at Lincoln University. We're looking for somebody to embrace who we are as an institution."

Moseley said their goal is to have coaches hired for the new teams by June 1. 

To report an error or typo, email