It’s official: Oakland joins Horizon League


The long-rumored move of Oakland University to the Horizon League became official Tuesday.

The Golden Grizzlies will officially join the league July 1, the Horizon League announced, and will compete in all the conference’s sports, except men’s tennis.

“I’ve respected their program for many years,” Wright State Athletic Director Bob Grant said. “They do a lot of things really well. A lot of folks say they’re similar to us in age and facilities. We’re kind of wired the same way.”

The Oakland news is important to the Horizon League baseball programs. When Butler left the conference last spring, the league was left with five baseball teams. Only conferences with at least six teams get automatic NCAA tournament berths. The Horizon League had a two-year grace period to find a sixth team, but now that’s not a concern.

“This will alleviate any kind of negative recruiting going on with the baseball programs,” Grant said.

Oakland’s campus in Rochester, Mich., is about 26 miles north of the University of Detroit. That proximity will help all the schools in the conference because they can play Oakland and Detroit on one trip.

In fact, Wright State is now the only school in the conference without another Horizon League school within a two-hour drive.

“Geographically, they’re a home run for us,” Grant said. “Unfortunately, gone are the days of conferences being built around rivalries and proximity. This allows for easy, convenient and economic travel. It keeps the kids in class. They’re not planes.”

The addition of Oakland gives the Horizon League nine teams again. It had 10 teams until last spring, when Butler departed for the Atlantic 10. When Loyola announced April 19 it was leaving for the Missouri Valley Conference, the Horizon had eight teams.

Oakland was a Division II program in the Great Lakes Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1973 to 1997. It was a Division I independent in 1997 and 1998 and has been in the Summit League ever since.

The Summit League used to be known as the Mid-Continent Conference, and Wright State was a member from 1991-94.

Oakland’s men’s basketball team finished 16-17 last season, its first losing season since 2005-06. Oakland has had the same coach, Greg Kampe, for 29 seasons. He has led Oakland to six Summit League titles in 14 seasons and three NCAA tournament appearances.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dragons continue to have West Michigan’s number
Dragons continue to have West Michigan’s number

West Michigan may have the Midwest League’s best record, but you couldn’t blame the Whitecaps if a little doubt started to set in. Dayton pitchers Scott Moss and Tony Santillan would be the reason, because it’s likely they’ll face the Whitecaps in the first two games of the MWL playoffs, which begin at Fifth Third Field on Sept...
Ervin, Votto lead the way as Reds hold off Cubs
Ervin, Votto lead the way as Reds hold off Cubs

Phillip Ervin may be a late-bloomer, but the Cincinnati outfielder has arrived in the majors with bang. Ervin hit a two-run homer to snap a tie in the seventh inning and had four RBIs in his first major league start as the Reds rebounded from blowing a nine-run lead to defeat the Chicago Cubs 13-10 on Thursday. Ervin, in right field in his fifth game...
NBA champion Durant doesn’t ‘respect’ Donald Trump, won’t go to White House if invited
NBA champion Durant doesn’t ‘respect’ Donald Trump, won’t go to White House if invited

NBA champion Kevin Durant says he will not visit President Donald Trump at the White House if the Golden State Warriors are invited, according to a story on ESPN. "Nah, I won't do that," Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP, told ESPN Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now." The White House has not officially extended...
High School Football: Graham next success story on coach’s list
High School Football: Graham next success story on coach’s list

In his football career, both playing and coaching, Shane Cahill has experienced success at every level. Cahill, 26, played on three regional finalist teams at West Jefferson High School. He was an all-conference linebacker at Urbana University, helping the Blue Knights to the most wins in program history in a four-year span (26). And the last three...
High school football games on radio, TV, internet
High school football games on radio, TV, internet

The following are area high school football games that will be aired on radio, TV and/or the internet. If your station or webcast isn’t listed, email your information and schedule to sports@coxohio.com. Thu. Aug. 24: Alter at Fairmont Thu. Aug. 31: Xenia at Troy Thu. Sept. 7: Bellbrook at Tecumseh Thu. Sept. 14: Lebanon at Beavercreek Thu. Sept...
More Stories