COLUMBIA - Mizzou wrestling is coming home to the Big 12 conference.

The MU Board of Curators unanimously approved the program's affiliate membership, effective July 1, 2021.

The Tigers spent over six decades in the conference before leaving for the Southeastern Conference almost ten years ago.

Mizzou also won the Big 12 during their last year in the conference in 2011-2012 before leaving to join the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Darryl Chatman, chair of the MU Board of Curators, said he is excited for both the team and the university to return to the conference.

"This return to the Big 12 Conference continues that tradition of seeking excellence in competition. MU and the state of Missouri can be proud of the team that will represent us in a conference with some of the best wrestling programs in the country," Chatman said.

The Tigers recently won their ninth-straight MAC championship in late February. Mizzou was crowned champion every year since joining the MAC conference in the 2012-2013 season.

Big 12 teams currently include Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and  West Virginia, as well as affiliate programs Air Force, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming.

University of Missouri president Mun Choi says this is an exciting opportunity for the team and coach Brian Smith.

"Coach Smith has done a tremendous job in his 23 years leading the program. Like many of our fans, I am very excited to see what the future holds for Mizzou wrestling in the Big 12," Choi said.

Coach Smith says Missouri fans should be ready for a great season as well.

"With our entire line-up returning for the 2021-22 season, coupled with a return to the Big 12, Mizzou fans have a lot to look forward to," Smith said.

The Big 12 schedule had yet to come out, at the time of this publishing.

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