HENNIKER, N.H.—New England Collegiate Conference is pleased to announce that New England College will be joining the conference for the 2018-19 academic year, Newbury College President and Chair of the NECC Presidents Council, Dr. Joseph L. Chillo announced today.
Currently, NEC is a member of the North Atlantic Conference with nine other public and private institutions located primarily throughout Maine and Vermont. The decision to join the NECC follows a lengthy evaluation process to ensure continued and sustainable success for NEC by aligning with other small private institutions in a more centralized geographic location.
"New England College is delighted to accept the invitation to join the New England Collegiate Conference, said New England College President Dr. Michele Perkins. "We believe this conference will be an excellent fit for our students and our institution. We look forward to competing with the many great teams of the NECC in 2018-19 and for great athletic seasons for years to come."
Twelve of NEC's 18 varsity programs will compete in the NECC: men's and women's soccer, field hockey, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball.
The NEC men's and women's ice hockey programs will continue to compete in the New England Hockey Conference, while rugby, alpine skiing and wrestling will also maintain their current regional conference affiliations.
"We are looking forward to joining the New England Collegiate Conference and beginning a new chapter in Pilgrim athletics," said Director of Athletics Lou Izzi. "As the landscape of Division III athletics continues to change, we strongly believe it is in the best interest of our student-athletes and teams to join the NECC."
The NECC, established in 2007, is comprised of 10 small, private, four-year institutions located throughout the New England region, including eight colleges in Massachusetts: Bay Path, Becker, Dean, Eastern Nazarene, Elms, Lesley, Newbury and Wheelock, plus Southern Vermont College and Mitchell College in Connecticut.
Added Izzi, "On behalf of NEC, I want to thank Newbury College President Dr. Joseph Chillo, NECC Commissioner Del Malloy and Becker College Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Frank Millerick for providing us with outstanding support and direction during this transition period, and for sharing with us their vision of a strong, vibrant future for the NECC."
"We are delighted that New England College has selected the NECC to be their new athletic conference starting in the 2018-19 academic year," said Chillo. "The leadership team of the NECC was most impressed with President Perkins and Athletic Director Izzi for their leadership and commitment to providing a high quality student-athlete experience. The addition of New England College further strengthens the NECC and the level of competition for all of our student-athletes."
Concluded Izzi, "We are grateful to current NAC Commissioner Marcella Zalot, former NAC Commissioner Julie Muller, and each of the NAC athletic directors for working so hard to ensure a positive experience for our student-athletes."
The Pilgrims advanced to a school-record seven conference championship games and played in two NCAA Tournaments last season.
Courtesy of New England College Athletics Communications.