Thomas More College, which has been an NCAA Division III member since 1990, will return to the NAIA level beginning in the 2019-20 school year.
Thomas More, located in Crestview Hills, will play in the Mid-South Conference, of which seven Kentucky schools are members. Campbellsville University, the University of the Cumberlands, Georgetown College, Lindsey Wilson College and the University of Pikeville are full members while Kentucky Christian University and Union College are associate members.
“In our conversations with representatives of the NAIA, their dedication to placing student development first was evident,” Kathleen Jagger, Thomas More College’s acting president, said in a news release. “Their character focus is consistent with our institutional mission. We are delighted to have this opportunity to join a competitive conference, with common academic standards and geographic proximity that will minimize the travel time for our student-athletes.”
Thomas More formerly was a member of what was known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1955 through its departure from the NAIA level. The school this season will compete as part of the American Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level in eight sports, and as an independent in 19 others.
The Saints’ women’s basketball program won back-to-back Division III national championships in 2015 and 2016, but the 2015 title was later vacated. Sydney Moss, the daughter of former NFL star Randy Moss who starred for Boone County High School, set multiple Division III records at Thomas More after transferring from Florida.
“The Mid-South Conference is excited to welcome Thomas More College as our newest full-member institution,” said Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward said. “Thomas More is a great fit, academically and athletically, and its membership will only enhance the Mid-South’s reputation and competitiveness.”