MINNEAPOLIS – After a vote by the conference coaches, the Minnesota men’s lacrosse program has been accepted into the Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference (UMLC) Division I membership for the 2019 season.
Minnesota, which spent the last two seasons in the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA), returns to its original conference.
"We are excited about the addition of Minnesota to the UMLC and look forward to 2019 season," said UMLC director Derek Daehn.
The Golden Gophers will give the UMLC 10 members this spring and will be inserted into the West division of the league along with Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The UMLC East will be comprised of Illinois, Illinois State, defending conference champion Indiana, Oakland and Purdue.
The top four teams in each division will qualify for the UMLC tournament, which owns an automatic qualifying bid to the 2019 MCLA National Championship powered by Under Armour in Salt Lake City this coming May. The UMLC tournament will take place April 26-28 at the Crown Point (Ind.) Sportsplex.
“We’re thrilled to be rejoining the UMLC and assisting in their vision to build the best conference possible,” said Minnesota coach Rich Limpert. “We have a long history with the UMLC and are looking forward to building on the partnerships we’ve established with member programs and rekindling the healthy rivalries we’ve developed during the MCLA regular season.”
During the two season with the CCLA, the Golden Gophers posted a 19-11 overall record and a 9-2 mark in the league. Last spring, they advanced to the conference championship game before bowing the eventual national champion Michigan State.
“We have truly enjoyed being a part of, and working with the leadership in the former CCLA,” Limpert said. “They are first class lacrosse people; always organized and looking out for the best interest of their member programs, which is what made this move back to the UMLC possible. Between the two conferences, we’re lucky to have to been able to have them both looking out for us through these transitions and it feels good to be heading back home.”
Minnesota was second in the recent UMLC Division I preseason coaches poll behind defending conference champion Indiana.