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Purdue Northwest has been accepted as a member of NCAA Division II, the school announced Friday.

The school started the three-year transition process from NAIA in 2016 and joined the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after the 2016-17 academic year.

Its journey culminated with an 11 a.m. conference call with the NCAA Division II Membership Committee. The committee took the suspense out of the call immediately for Athletic director Rick Costello, Chancellor Thomas L. Keon and Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Tom Albano. It greeted the trio with congratulations and delivered the news Costello had waited years for.

"I had a lot of confidence," Costello said. "But the old coach in me (said) you never know the outcome of a game until you play the game."

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The change takes effect for the 2019-20 school year. Purdue Northwest will be eligible for all Division II postseason competitions, and Costello said the Pride will now be eligible for grant funding from the NCAA.

Costello said the Pride's coaches were "thrilled" when they were informed of the move.

"They have worked hard, recruited hard and persevered," Costello said.

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Porter County Sports Reporter

Robbie Weinstein covers Porter County prep sports and Valparaiso University athletics for The Times. You can find the Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University grad posted up on the nearest field of play or in front of the TV.