DBU Baseball to Join Missouri Valley Conference in 2014

Filed under: Sports |

Beginning with the 2014 season, Dallas Baptist Baseball will have a new home full of familiar faces – the Missouri Valley Conference. Director of Athletics, Mr. Ryan Erwin, announced Monday the completion of an agreement with the MVC that will allow Dallas Baptist to compete as an affiliate member of the conference beginning after the 2013 season, a season that will see the Patriots compete in the Western Athletic Conference. “This is the culmination of a long process,” said Erwin, “but we feel we have found a home for our baseball program in the Missouri Valley Conference. It is a very stable conference, one that has been around a long time, and we feel it is a great fit for our program now and for where we want to be in the future.”

In 2012, Dallas Baptist participated in a scheduling agreement with the Missouri Valley, playing each team, aside from Illinois State, in a three-game series. While not eligible to play in the conference tournament, DBU finished the MVC portion of their schedule with a 14-7 record and received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. On the heels of that scheduling agreement, and three Missouri Valley teams also receiving bids to Regional Tournaments, momentum was established to make DBU an affiliate member of the Missouri Valley Conference and with the support of the Dallas Baptist Board of Trustees, Dr. Gary Cook, President, and Dr. Blair Blackburn, Executive Vice President, the necessary votes on both sides of negotiations were gathered to sign an agreement.

Blackburn, in a letter to MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin, said, “I do believe we have made a decision that is good for collegiate baseball and the MVC… there is no doubt that the invitation to join your conference is a blessing for Dallas Baptist Baseball.”

“I am excited about this partnership because I know the history of the MVC and how strong of a league it had been,” said Patriot Head Coach Dan Heefner. “I am even more excited about the future of the league. I think last year was a picture of even better things to come. I believe the competitive balance of the MVC, great facilities, and the new RPI formula will ensure that it will become recognized as one of the top baseball conferences in the country. I am truly grateful for this opportunity – it is an honor to be an affiliate member of the Missouri Valley Conference.” Heefner’s familiarity with the conference dates back to his playing days when he competed at Northern Iowa, which no longer sponsors intercollegiate baseball. Heefner also coached under Rick Heller, now the head coach for Indiana State, at Northern Iowa before spending one season at Creighton with current Bluejay Head Coach Ed Servais.

The Missouri Valley Conference is the nation’s second-oldest NCAA Division I conference, having been founded in 1907. In the league’s first 100 seasons of competition, 32 member schools combined for 28 national championships, while 55 Valley student-athletes captured NCAA individual titles. In this, the MVC claimed the 1989 national baseball championship amongst the 19 qualifiers it has sent to the College World Series.

The Missouri Valley also operates the MVC Television Network Package – a revenue producing vehicle providing excellent national and regional coverage for basketball and other sports and the effective sale of advertising content to more than 25 companies. In 2003-04, the league signed an agreement with State Farm Insurance for sponsorship of all of the league’s 18 championships. The conference’s progressive marketing and in-house television package has helped open the doors to regional and national sponsors outside the realm of title sponsorships, as well.

Dallas Baptist will play the 2013 season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference before officially joining the Missouri Valley Conference for the 2014 season. DBU will open the 2013 season in the brand-new Joan and Andy Horner Ballpark, set to be completed in time for opening day (www.dallasbaptistballpark.com). The Patriots will face Creighton for the last time as non-conference opponents to open Horner Ballpark on February 15 at 6:30 pm CST.