Feb. 9, 2012
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team will change their conference affiliation in 2013.
UMass Dartmouth will join eight other schools in joining the Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference, which will add football as their 17th championship sport. The Corsairs, who are already members of the MASCAC for hockey, will join present MASCAC members Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Massachusetts Maritime, Westfield State and Worcester State. Plymouth State, which like UMass Dartmouth is a member of the New England Football Conference, and Western Connecticut State, which is currently a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference in football but is a member of the Little East Conference in most other sports, will also join the MASCAC. . "Our move to the MASCAC is outstanding," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "I would like to thank Ian Day, our Director of Athletics, for his efforts and support in making this move possible. The NEFC is a great conference and will continue to be one, but the MASCAC will give us the opportunity to compete with institutions that are similar to ours. Our program looks forward to the challenge of competing against these quality schools."
"Tradition and competitive excellence have been hallmarks of the MASCAC for over four decades, and the addition of football as a championship sport will undoubtedly add to that tradition," said MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann. "Our new football league will bring great excitement, enhanced visibility and most importantly, new opportunities for our student-athletes and member institutions going forward."
The MASCAC champion will receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Championships after the association's mandatory two-year waiting period expires, and all nine football playing institutions will remain eligible for at-large berths during that time.
The MASCAC becomes the sixth football playing conference for institutions competing in New England Division III play, joining the New England Football Conference, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference, the Liberty League and the Empire 8.
"I share in the great excitement and enthusiasm of our member schools, who have all enjoyed great success, tradition and camaraderie in their current football playing conferences," Baumann said. "I know we are all looking forward to establishing new traditions of success in the years to come."\
The NEFC, founded in 1965 by Bridgewater State, Curry, and Maine Maritime Academy, will function as an eight team league and will retain their automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships. The realigned NEFC will consist of Curry, Endicott, Maine Maritime, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Western New England.
"It's been an honor to have been a member of the NEFC and to work with the quality student-athletes, coaches and administrators at all of the NEFC institutions," said NEFC Commissioner Sue Lauder, who is also the Director of Athletics at Fitchburg State. "I wish the conference continued success and look forward to maintaining relationships with NEFC members."
The NEFC, with 16 members divided into two divisions, is the largest Division III football conference in the nation. The conference's championship game between the winners of the two divisions is also unique in Division III football.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL
Thanks to Roger Crosley of the NEFC and Jim Seavey of the MASCAC for their assistance