EUREKA — Eureka College will join the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference as an associate football member in 2018, the school announced Monday.
The Red Devils will retain their membership with the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in all other men's and women's sports.
Eureka College spent the past nine seasons as an associate member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Red Devils won the UMAC title in 2017 and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time.
"We're always looking to build the best possible experience for our student-athletes," Eureka College Director of Athletics Steve Thompson said.
"The NACC is a league that provides more student-friendly travel and an excellent level of competition against a variety of opponents our fan base and alumni are very familiar with. We're eager to get started this fall."
Eureka College becomes the eighth football member of the NACC and will be immediately eligible to compete for the NACC's automatic bid to the Division III playoffs.
Eureka previously competed as league rivals in the now-defunct Illini-Badger Football Conference with five current members of the NACC — Aurora, Benedictine, Concordia (Ill.), Concordia (Wis.) and Lakeland — until 2007.
The Red Devils will play a full seven-game league schedule beginning in 2018 and have its nonconference schedule expand to three games each season. The annual Lincoln Bowl matchup with Knox to begin the season will remain part of the schedule and is set for Sept. 1 at Galesburg.
The Red Devils' home opener will be Sept. 8 against former conference rival Iowa Wesleyan.