St. Ambrose University is leaving the Midwest Collegiate Conference to join the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference beginning with the next academic year. The 14-member league includes schools in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. “Our whole entire student body overall and athletics would match this, 65 to 70-percent is from the state of Illinois,” St. Ambrose athletic director Ray Shovlain says. He many of them are from the Chicagoland area.

He says the Chicagoland Conference is a good fit for their student body and makes it attractive for recruiting as the parents can see the games in Chicago and maybe make some of the games in the Quad Cities.

The move will effect all sports expect football. Shovlain says the Fighting Bees football program will remain a part of the Mid-States Football Association. He says all the members who play football in the Chicagoland Conference also are in the Mid-States Football Association.

St. Ambrose has been part of the MCC since 1990 but the league will be down to four members next year. Grand View and William Penn announced last year that they will be joining the Heart of America Conference in 2015. Shovlain says if you aren’t in a conference you have to drive all over to compete and that was a major focus.

The remaining members of the Midwest Collegiate Conference are Clarke University in Dubuque, Mount Mercy in Cedar Rapids, AIB College of Business in Des Moines and Viterbo of Wisconsin.