COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Mizzou wrestling team is moving back to the Big 12 Conference for the 2021-2022 season, according to a release from Mizzou. The UM Board of Curators unanimously approved the decision at its meeting on Thursday. MU will officially join the Big 12 on July 1.
Head coach Brian Smith surprised his team with the news this afternoon after practice. You can watch the full video here.
"It was something that I never thought would happen," Coach Smith said. "But, people change. Things change and great things can happen."
You can watch the announcement replay in the video player below.
MU has dominated the MAC the last nine seasons after joining the conference in 2012.
"I'm grateful to the MAC." Coach Smith said. "They were the only conference that really wanted us at that time, and it was great for us."
When Mizzou left for the SEC in July of 2012, the wrestling team was in limbo. There is no wrestling in the Southeastern Conference. MU finally found a home in the MAC.
The Tigers have won the conference tournament each and every year they've been a part of the conference. They haven't lost a MAC dual since Feb. 12, 2017. MU has had 40 individual MAC champions.
Mizzou has won ten straight conference tournament championships dating back to its Big 12 days. The Tigers took home the conference title in 2012 - which was their final year in the conference.
"I feel I wrestle better with those programs like Oklahoma State," Mizzou wrestler Brock Mauller said. "I like a big crowd, more attendance and that sort of stuff. I feel like I wrestle up to that pressure and that level, so it will be good for my wrestling."
Mizzou recently placed seventh at the 2021 NCAA Championships. It was MU's sixth straight top-10 finish at the national tournament.