Crossroads League
DivisionDivision II
Sports fielded15 (men's: 7; women's: 8)
RegionMidwestern United States
Region VIII
Former namesMid-Central College Conference
CommissionerLarry DeSimpelare

The Crossroads League (formerly the Mid-Central College Conference) is an athletic conference composed of NAIA private Christian colleges in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio . The current conference commissioner is Larry DeSimpelare.

In June 2012, the conference voted to change its name from the Mid-Central College Conference to the Crossroads League, a name which better represents the modern conference growing beyond its Central Indiana roots.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

  • April 10, 1959 - An organizational meeting was held in Huntington, IN, attended by representatives from Huntington College, Concordia College, Tri-State University, and Indiana Tech. Richard Klopfenstein was elected to serve as Chairman, while Murray Mendenhall Jr. was chosen as Secretary. Motions were carried to include basketball, baseball, golf and tennis as sanctioned sports. Further motions established All-Sports Points systems and regulations for competition. At this time several possible conference names were presented including: North Central Indiana Conference and Mid-Indiana Conference, but no final decision was made at this time.
  • Richard Klopfenstein spearheads move to create a broad based athletic conference for colleges throughout Indiana sharing faith based heritage and athletic competition. Klopfenstein would serve as the MCC's first President beginning in 1959 and remain active both in the MCC and at Huntington University where he would serve as Athletic Director and coach. Klopfenstein is widely regarded as the "founding father" of the MCC.
  • May 14, 1959 - The name Mid-Central College Conference is chosen by a 5-4 vote over Northern Indiana College Conference.
  • June 1, 1959 - The Mid-Central College Conference Constitution is officially ratified.
  • 1959-60 - Huntington College wins the first MCC All-Sports Trophy. Tennis, basketball, golf and baseball complete the first year of championship play.
  • September 17, 1963 - Membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is granted.
  • 1964-65 - Badminton, bowling, volleyball and table tennis are all hosted as single day tournaments for MCC institutions.
  • 1965-66 - Track & field is officially added as MCC sport.
  • 1966 - Saint Francis College joins the MCC as the 5th member institution
  • 1967 - Soccer officially added as MCC sport.
  • 1968 - The first drafts of a Procedures Manual to govern MCC administration and sports are created.
  • Nov. 6, 1969 - Goshen College officially granted membership in MCC.
  • 1974 - Membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Commissioners is registered.
  • 1979 - MCC Membership dues are increased to $200.00 per year.
  • May 8, 1979 - Financial aid limits and regulations are updated to reflect % of institution tuition.
  • May 8, 1980 - Tri-State University confirms they will leave the MCC, effective for the 1981-82 season.
  • May 12, 1980 - Saint Francis College submits their intent to withdraw from the MCC beginning with the 1981-82 season siting differences in philosophy of athletic scholarships.
  • 1980-81 - Tic Toc Trophy Shop contracted to provide All-Conference plaques and championship trophies.
  • 1980-81 - Huntington College wins the baseball championship with an 8-0 MCC record.
  • September 18, 1980 - Men's soccer coaches formally commission referee evaluations for match officials.
  • November 5, 1980 - Bethel College is formally welcomed to the MCC, and Grace College renews their MCC membership.
  • May 27, 1981 - In conference meetings member representatives affirm the Christian commitment of the MCC, and reinforce the need for further reaching publicity of the conference. Harold Yoder, acting as the current MCC President, commissions a committee to explore ways to further publicize and disseminate press releases for MCC events.
  • September 16, 1981 - A non-weighted formula is adopted for an all sports considered for the MCC All-Sports Trophy.
  • 1981 - Grand Rapids Baptist, Concordia Lutheran, and Spring Arbor University have applications for membership rejected. Concerns about interstate travel halt plans to expand the MCC.
  • 1981-82 - Goshen men's soccer posts 4-0 MCC record to win Conference Championship.
  • November 11, 1981 - The addition of women's sports in considered and becomes part of future plans for official MCC sports.
  • September 15, 1982 - MCC baseball coaches unanimously vote to accept doubleheader format for all conference competition.
  • September 15, 1982 - An official invitation is extended to the women's athletic programs at member institutions to join the MCC commencing with the 1983-84 season. Responses are mixed, with various concerns expressed regarding scholarship limits and the number of sports to be sponsored, and no official action is taken.
  • November 9, 1982 - A graphical logo is commissioned to represent the MCC, all member institution art departments are solicited for submissions.
  • March 8, 1983 - Questions regarding the participation of women's sports is again brought to the table in MCC meetings, and again institutions are approached.
  • 1982-83 - Coach of the Year Mike Atkinson and the Marion (IWU) Golf team posted an 18-2 MCC Championship winning season, and helped Marion (IWU) claim the MCC All-Sports Trophy for that year.
  • May 10, 1983 - The MCC official logo is selected, the state of Indiana with the letters 'MCC' in a red, blue, and white color scheme is approved by a 10-8 vote of institution representatives.
  • November 9, 1983 - MCC representatives recalibrate the financial aid regulations to protect conference competition and maintain the founding spirit of broad based sports competition within the MCC.
  • April 2, 1984 - A constitutional revision by member Faculty Academic Representatives recognizes Bethel College, Grace College, Goshen College, Huntington University, and Marion College (IWU) as member institutions, and mandated full participation in all 7 MCC sports by the 1986-87 season from all schools.
  • September 13, 1984 - A written invitation is sent to member athletic directors regarding adding women's basketball and volleyball. Only 4 institutions respond positively, 1 short of the NAIA required 5 for recognition, and the initiative is put on hold.
  • May 5, 1985 - Dick Klopfenstein is inducted into the Huntington University Hall of Fame.
  • 1984-85 - Marion College (IWU) tennis wins the MCC Championship with a 4-0 record.
  • May 5, 1986 - Tom King of Huntington University is elected to serve as MCC president.
  • 1985-86 - Grace College men's basketball claims MCC with 7-1 record under Coach of the Year Jim Kessler.
  • 1986 - Marian College is first approached for potential membership in the MCC
  • 1985-86 - Bethel College withdraws from the MCC following the season, conference drops to 4 members.
  • July 9, 1986 - A special meeting is called to consider the future of the MCC. A unanimous decision is made by all institutions represented to be "firmly committed to maintaining a viable and competitive conference." A re-organization is planned, with initiatives to expand membership, include women's sports teams, and form a 'Presidential Advisory Committee'.
  • August 25, 1986 - The special meeting amendments are ratified, including: the reinstatement of Bethel College, requirement of participation in 5 of the 9 MCC sponsored men's sports, and women's division created for 1986-87 season.
  • September 11, 1986 - NAIA accepts MCC women's basketball champion for postseason competition.
  • March 2, 1987 - Huntington University claims the first MCC women's basketball championship, and head coach Lori Culler is selected as the first MCC Coach of the Year. The MCC still lacks the 3 sponsored women's sports to be recognized by the NAIA as a women's sports conference.
  • May 4, 1987 - All-team Academic Excellence adopted from Executive Committee recommendations to expand recognition of student-athletes' academic achievement.
  • 1986-87 - Huntington University wins the MCC All-Sports Trophy
  • 1987-88 - Marion College (IWU) adds varsity softball team.
  • September 14, 1987 - Marian College accepted as member of the MCC.
  • 1987-88 - Student admission prices to MCC basketball games is raised from $1.00 to $2.00.
  • 1987-88 - Women's basketball ends in a five way tie for first between Bethel, Grace, Huntington, Marion (IWU), and Marian.
  • 1988-89 - Marian College wins men's basketball championship with a perfect 10-0 season. In the district tournament Taylor, who was not a member of the MCC at the time, defeated Marian in the championship game of the district tournament to earn the NAIA National Tournament bid, which was played in Kansas City.
  • May 9, 1988 - John Ingold is elected to serve as MCC President, Jim Kessler serves as Vice President.
  • May 1988 - Marion College is re-branded and renamed as Indiana Wesleyan University.
  • September 12, 1988 - Softball is officially added as MCC sport, 4 member schools participate in the first season on play. The MCC now sponsors 10 sports for both male and female student-athletes.
  • May 19, 1989 - Marks the 30 year anniversary of the Mid-Central College Conference. Commemorated with an 18 hole golf tournament hosted by Indiana Wesleyan.
  • 1989 - Huntington volleyball and Coach of the Year Mike Swan post a 8-0 record and MCC Championship.
  • 1989 - The current framework for Academic All-Conference awards are adopted to recognize student-athlete excellence in the classroom.
  • 1990 - Current Bethel College men's basketball coach Mike Lightfoot wins Coach of the Year Honors as his team posts a 9-1 MCC record.
  • 1990 - Lori Culler, of Huntington University, leads her team to a spotless 8-0 MCC record and Coach of the Year recognition.
  • May 14, 1990 - Dave Roberts (Marian University), Mike Lightfoot (BC) and Lyle Miller (Goshen) are elected as MCC President, Vice President, and Sports Information Director.
  • 1994-95 - Taylor University is officially granted MCC membership, and the University of Saint Francis re-joins the MCC.
  • 1994-95 - Bethel College men's basketball wins their first NAIA National Championship.
  • 1996-97 - Total operating expenses for the MCC are reported as just under $32,000.00.
  • 1996-97 - Bethel College men's basketball wins 2nd NAIA National Championship.
  • September 16, 1997 - A change is considered to the conference's name, possibilities include: Hoosier State Athletic Conference, Hoosier Collegiate Athletic Conference, Indiana Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Hoosier Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. None are chosen and the MCC remains the Mid-Central College Conference.
  • November 8, 1997 - An "Internet Home Page" is proposed to represent the MCC, to be launched for the 1997-98 season.
  • 1998-99 - Women's soccer is added to MCC recognized sports.
  • January 11, 1999 - The first committee is formed to consider the hiring of a MCC Commissioner to oversee conference operations.
  • June 20, 2001 - A men's and women's combined Sports Information Director position is created to publicize both men's and women's sports happenings.
  • 2001-02 - The NAIA launches its Champions of Character program, the MCC is an early member and proponent of its 5 core values.
  • 2003-04 - Mike Fratzke (Indiana Wesleyan) is elected to serve as MCC President.
  • June 22, 2004 - A proposal to add women's golf as an MCC sport is tabled for later consideration.
  • 2004-05 - Spring Arbor University joins the conference, and begins MCC competition in men's and women's sports.
  • September 12, 2005 - Membership application for Indiana Tech is considered, but re-admission to the MCC is denied.
  • March 22, 2006 - At the spring MCC meeting agenda items included consideration of Holy Cross, Siena Heights, and Cedarville for membership, SIDHelp is approved by the Athletic Directors Council and is implemented for the official MCC website, and John Grimes of Marian University is voted Athletic Director of the Year for the MCC.
  • March 22, 2006 - Approval is granted for the search to begin for a MCC Commissioner position.
  • 2006-07 - 3 MCC schools add women's golf to their list of offered sports.
  • 2006-07 - Indiana Wesleyan claims 6th straight MCC All-Sports Trophy.
  • March 20, 2007 - Dr. G. Blair Dowden of Huntington is recognized at the Charles Morris Athletics Administrator of the Year award recipient from the NAIA. Dowden served as the Athletic Director and President for Huntington as well as the Chairman of the Council of Presidents for the MCC from 1997-1999.
  • May 1, 2007 - The Champions of Character initiative is presented to parents and fans at MCC contests as the conference sought to take the lead in the NAIA program, sending an official release inviting constituents to participate alongside their institution is sent in September 2007.
  • November 6, 2007 - The Council of Presidents (COP) Approves Sister Elise Kriss (USF) to lead the search committee to hire a MCC Commissioner, a target date to present a candidate to the COP of April 4, 2008 is set.
  • 2007-08 - Indiana Wesleyan women's basketball wins the first NAIA DII National Championship in school history.
  • January 14, 2008 - The MCC Commissioner position is posted and the search begins for the 1st Commissioner.
  • January 21, 2008 - Richard Klopfenstein passes away at the age of 85. Klopfenstein served in many capacities at Huntington University and for the MCC including 33 seasons as men's golf coach, 15 seasons as the men's tennis coach, 13 seasons as the men's basketball coach, 3 years as the baseball coach, and 1 year as the women's tennis coach. Klopfenstein won 4 MCC Titles as golf coach, and 3 as the men's basketball coach. Klopfenstein also spend 25 years as the Athletic Director at Huntington, served as the MCC President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, and NAIA District 21 Executive Committee Representative for the MCC.
  • June 9, 2008 - J.D. Collins is hired as the first Commissioner of the MCC. Collins, a former basketball referee and CEO of Hartford Concrete Products, takes over as Commissioner as the MCC enters its 50th season of competition in 2008-2009.
  • September 4, 2008 - Eric Smith is hired as MCC Sports Information Director. Smith would serve for 2 separate stints as SID and oversee the implementation of many updates to MCC services including social media and website redesign.
  • August 19, 2009 - The MCC makes its debut on social media, launching a conference Twitter account to update fans about conference sporting results.
  • October 22, 2009 - Taylor, Huntington, and Bethel recognized by NAIA as members of NAIA's top 25 winningest programs. Four MCC coaches are also recognized as being within the top 25 winningest coaches in the NAIA. The NAIA recognized Mike Lightfoot of Bethel, Paul Patterson of Taylor, Jim Kessler of Grace, and John Grimes of Marian.
  • December 8, 2009 - Saint Francis adds men's tennis program to begin competition in the 2010-11 season.
  • 2009-10 - The University of Saint Francis men's basketball team wins the 2010 NAIA National Championship.
  • November 30, 2010 - Mount Vernon Nazarene University approved as 10th member of MCC.
  • December, 2010 - Spring Arbor University, Indiana Wesleyan and Mount Vernon Nazarene add women's golf teams for competition starting in the 2011-12 season.
  • April 12, 2011 - Bethel men's soccer sets Guinness World Record for "longest game of futsal" for a 35-hour, non-stop, futsal match held to raise money for an upcoming missions trip.
  • July 1, 2011 - Goshen adds women's golf for the 2012-13 season.
  • August 16, 2011 - Joe Voldrich is appointed MCC Sports Information Director and holds position for 2 years.
  • September 22, 2011 - The 2011-2015 MCC Strategic Plan is released. Goals for long term development and improvement to the conference are outlined, and clarification is provided for the Vision and Mission Statement of the MCC. Also included is an Assistant Commissioner position to be filled before the 2012-13 season.
  • November 30, 2011 - Nathan Miller is hired as the first MCC Assistant Commissioner. Objectives of this position include advancing the MCC's Strategic Plan Initiatives and improving the conferences corporate partnerships.
  • January, 2012 - Taylor and Indiana Wesleyan add women's golf, plan inaugural season for 2012-13 season.
  • June 15, 2012 - The first annual MCC Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards are released for the 2011-12 season. The inaugural recipients were Kelsey Pritchard of Taylor and Caleb Kennedy of Huntington.
  • 2011-12 - Several new partnerships are undertaken with local businesses surrounding MCC institutions as part of the implementation of the MCC Strategic Plan. Advertising campaigns include sponsorships for MCC Tournaments and website banners.
  • June 27, 2012 - The Mid-Central College Conference unveils new name and brand identity. The Crossroads League represents the new brand identity for the league chosen after a careful and thorough re-branding process initiated by Commissioner Collins with the approval of the Council of Presidents.
  • October 5, 2012 - The Crossroads League web store is launched in partnership with Lids Team Sports to provide official Crossroads League apparel.
  • 2012-13 - Indiana Wesleyan women's basketball captures the 2013 NAIA D-II National Championship for the second time.
  • May 9, 2013 - Nathan Bellman is hired as the Crossroads League Assistant Commissioner and also takes on Sports Information Director responsibilities.
  • June 7, 2013 - Nathan Martin Named 2012-13 Crossroads League Achievement Award winner for his outstanding performances in Track and Field competition while at Spring Arbor.
  • June 7, 2013 - Brady Klotz of Bethel men's golf and Paige Smith of Indiana Wesleyan women's basketball as the 2012-13 Crossroads League Male and Female Athlete of the Year winners.
  • August 8, 2013 - Angie Fincannon, Taylor University Athletic Director, is recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators as the 2013 Administrator of the Year.
  • 2013-14 - The Crossroads League will complete its 54th season of competition, and continues to be a leading athletic conference in the NAIA.[2]

Member schools[edit | edit source]

Current members[edit | edit source]

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Joined
Bethel College Mishawaka, Indiana 1947 1,964 Pilots 1980
Goshen College Goshen, Indiana 1894 971 Maple Leafs 1970
Grace College & Seminary Winona Lake, Indiana 1948 1,308 Lancers 1981
Huntington University Huntington, Indiana 1897 1,089 Foresters 1959
Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, Indiana 1920 2,969 Wildcats 1968
Marian University Indianapolis, Indiana 1851 1,800 Knights 1987
Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, Ohio 1964 2,622 Cougars 2011
University of Saint Francis Fort Wayne, Indiana 1890 1,883 Cougars 1966;
Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, Michigan 1873 2,600 Cougars 2004
Taylor University Upland, Indiana 1846 1,887 Trojans 1994

Former members[edit | edit source]

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
Concordia Senior College Fort Wayne, Indiana 1957 Cadets 1959 1972 Closed in 1977
Indiana Institute of Technology Fort Wayne, Indiana 1930 Warriors 1959 1978 Wolverine–Hoosier
Trine University Angola, Indiana 1884 Thunder 1959 1982 Michigan

Membership timeline[edit | edit source]

Mount Vernon Nazarene UniversitySpring Arbor UniversityTaylor UniversityMarian University (Indiana)Bethel College (Indiana)Indiana Wesleyan UniversityGoshen CollegeUniversity of Saint Francis (Indiana)Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic AssociationWolverine-Hoosier Athletic ConferenceTrine UniversityWolverine-Hoosier Athletic ConferenceIndiana Institute of TechnologyHuntington UniversityGrace College %26 SeminaryConcordia Senior College

Full members (men only) Full members (men and women) Other Conference Other Conference

Sports[edit | edit source]

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball 13pxY
Basketball 13pxY 13pxY
Cross Country 13pxY 13pxY
Golf 13pxY 13pxY
Soccer 13pxY 13pxY
Softball 13pxY
Tennis 13pxY 13pxY
Track & Field Outdoor 13pxY 13pxY
Volleyball 13pxY

Commissioners Cup[edit | edit source]

Each year, the member institution with the most points based on final rankings in each sport, is awarded the Commissioners Cup (formerly known as the All Sports Trophy). The current holder is Indiana Wesleyan University, which has won the last twelve cups in a row and holds the record for cups won, with eighteen.[3]

Notable athletes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Crossroads League navbox

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