Carroll to return to CCIW

Carroll's men's basketball team has been above .500 in the Midwest Conference each of the past 11 years but will face stiffer challenges in the CCIW.
Photo by Larry Radloff, 

Carroll will join the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin as a full member in the 2016-17 academic year. Carroll returns to the CCIW after a 22-year absence, bringing the total number of full members in the conference to nine.

It is anticipated the Pioneers will also become an associate member for women’s lacrosse beginning in 2015-16, one year before full membership in the CCIW begins.

“We are delighted to return to the CCIW. It is one of the premier NCAA Division III conferences in the country and is comprised of institutions that are widely recognized for academic excellence,” said Doug Hastad, president of Carroll University. “We are especially excited for our student-athletes who will be able to test their skills against some of the finest competition in the country. We look forward to renewing our relationship with these outstanding institutions. It is a proud day for the Carroll family.”

Carroll was a member of the CCIW conference from 1955 to 1992. Since then, Carroll has been a member of the Midwest Conference. The announcement marks the first change in CCIW membership since Carroll left the conference after the 1991-92 academic year.

In the last 20 years Carroll played in the CCIW, the men's basketball team finished .500 or better in the conference just four times. The Pioneers have never won the CCIW title in men's basketball.

The women's basketball team had a winning record each of the six seasons in which the CCIW has sponsored women's basketball. The Pioneers won two CCIW football titles during their years as a member.

“Joining the CCIW is a significant achievement for our Pioneers athletic program,” said athletic director Joe Baker. “Future student-athletes have a lot to look forward to as we also prepare to add men’s and women’s lacrosse to our sports lineup in fall, and begin renovations on our Van Male Fieldhouse this summer.”

Founded in 1846, Carroll serves an enrollment of 2,791 undergraduates and an athletics department that sponsors 20 sports (10 men’s and 10 women’s). The university is adding men’s and women’s lacrosse for the 2014-15 season.

"Our office will begin the process of incorporating Carroll into all of our conference schedules starting in 2016-17,” CCIW commissioner Chris Martin said. “We will work to create draft schedules for our athletics directors to review and decide upon as we add an additional game or series."