At the start of the 2020-21 school year, St. Norbert College will change their conference affiliation. They will join the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference starting in fall of 2020. In an article on Wisconsin Radio Network, the St. Norbert president, Brian Bruess, stated that, “Extensive study of our athletic department and the quality of academic experience for our student-athletes led us to explore Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference membership,” and that the student-athletes, “will be spending significantly less time away from campus allowing for a more integrated student experience.”
Norbert was already an affiliate member of the NACC, due to their men’s volleyball program’s involvement in the conference, but the NACC consists of 13 schools in Wisconsin and Illinois. The schools in Wisconsin include Alverno College, Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Lakeland University and Marian University. In Illinois, the colleges in the conference include Concordia University of Chicago, Dominican University, Aurora University, Benedictine University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Rockford University.
This will end their 36-year membership to the Midwest Conference, of which they have been one of the top competitors. St. Norbert has won 121 Midwest Conference Championships across 14 sports and appeared 66 times in NCAA Division III postseason tournaments.
This change will be beneficial for the school’s budget as well as their students’ health and time management. Perhaps taking a top contender out of the Midwest Conference will be good for Knox as well.