Horizon League: Raise Your Sights
The Horizon League membership features ten public and private institutions that have impressive academic reputations and a storied tradition of broad-based athletic programs. Current membership includes Butler University, Cleveland State University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Valparaiso University, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State University and Youngstown State University.
The Horizon League's primary focus is on adding value to the educational experience through its four platforms: athletic performance, academic achievement, community outreach, and personal responsibility and accountability. It is the League's belief that athletics is a powerful and visible resource tool that can be used to enhance student-athletes' collegiate experience. The Horizon League's goals are to enhance the holistic university experience for the student-athlete, to create an affiliation of institutions with similar athletic goals, and to adhere to the principals of integrity, diversity, excellence and growth. The Horizon League sponsors competition in 19 sports - nine for men (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and tennis) and ten for women (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis and volleyball).
The League receives automatic bids to NCAA championships in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, women's volleyball, and for the first time in League history, women's golf. The Horizon League is headquartered in Indianapolis, the "Amateur Sports Capital of the World," with offices in the Pan American Plaza (201 S. Capitol Avenue), located a block from Lucas Oil Stadium and just minutes from Conseco Fieldhouse, the State Capitol Building, Victory Field (home of the Indianapolis Indians) and the NCAA national office.
A PROUD HISTORY
Among other current members, Detroit joined in 1980, and Cleveland State, UIC, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Wright State came aboard in 1994 (along with Northern Illinois University) in the largest non-merger conference expansion in history. Youngstown State joining in 2001 and Valparaiso in 2007.
On June 4, 2001, the Horizon League unveiled its current name and ushered in a new dynamic direction that has brought the League closer to its stated goal of being one of the nation's top ten collegiate athletic conferences with a focus on enhancing the student-athletes' experience by upgrading the League's market and competitive positions.
Green Bay's women's basketball team became the league's first at-large bid to the NCAA Championship in 2010 with Cleveland State receiving the automatic nod. The Phoenix knocked off No. 5 seed Virginia in the first round before falling to Elite Eight participant Iowa State, 60-56.
Men's soccer has tasted victory in seven out of the last eight years (Milwaukee 2002-05, UIC 2006-08), with UIC just one win away from the College Cup in 2007. In softball, League teams won a game in the national tournament four straight years earlier in the decade (UIC 2002, 2004; Wright State 2003; Green Bay 2005) while advancing into the second round in women's soccer three of the last six seasons (Detroit 2004, Milwaukee 2005-06). Butler's Victoria Mitchell became the League's first NCAA individual champion when she won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Horizon League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) also has continued a tradition of working with youth in Indianapolis during its annual summer meeting. In addition, several League men's basketball coaches coached barefoot to support Samaritan's Feet, and the League's schools and fans donate to Komen for the Cure for breast cancer awareness during its annual women's basketball championship.
On campus, student-athletes have raised money and awareness for such causes as breast cancer, diabetes and hurricane relief, while hosting blood drives, neighborhood clean-ups, Big Brother/Big Sister programs and more.
LeCrone is in the second year of a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council after completing a five-year term on the Division I Men's Basketball Committee.