Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg is joining the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference July 1, the university announced May 2.
In a news release, Timothy Trainor, Mount St. Mary’s president said that in joining the MAAC, “the Mount gains the opportunity to compete with some of the finest Catholic colleges in the Northeast, elevating the university’s brand as well as the level of competition for our nearly 600 student-athletes and coaches.”
Trainor added that he expects basketball games on Jim Phelan Court to “draw even larger crowds and be louder than ever as we face off against excellent competition.”
MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said he was pleased that Mount St. Mary’s accepted an invitation to join the MAAC.
“The MAAC membership has sought to maintain a brand that stresses excellence in academics and athletics and Mount St. Mary’s fully meets those criteria,” he said in a Mount St. Mary’s news release.
Beginning for the 2022-23 season, Mount St. Mary’s will compete in the MAAC for men’s and women’s soccer, cross country, golf, tennis, swimming & diving, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s water polo, track and field, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball and baseball.
A 10 a.m. press conference formally announcing the move is scheduled for May 3 at Knott Arena and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
Men’s water polo (Mid-Atlantic Water Polo) and women’s rugby (NIRA) retain their current membership in their conferences. Bowling is not sponsored by the MAAC, and an announcement on a conference realignment for that sport is forthcoming, according to the release.
“I’m especially happy that the move to the MAAC puts us with universities that are aligned with our mission, values, and academic standing, said Mount St. Mary’s Board Chair Gracelyn McDermott. “The MAAC, like Mount St. Mary’s, is bound by the principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics.”
Director of Athletics Lynne Robinson said joining the MAAC will “no doubt energize the entire Mount community and enhance the experience of our student-athletes.”
The transition also marks the conclusion of a successful run for the Mount as members of the Northeast Conference. The Mount has had a 33-year partnership with the NEC, claiming 49 championship teams, including seven from women’s tennis, six from men’s cross country and men’s basketball and five from women’s basketball and women’s outdoor track and field. Mount St. Mary’s continues as an NEC member for the rest of this academic year and will continue to be eligible for any postseason championships.
“As a proud member of the Northeast Conference for many years, we are grateful for the growth the NEC helped facilitate in our athletic programs.” Trainor said. “We thank Commissioner Noreen Morris and the NEC board for their leadership.”
Schools encompassing the MAAC hail from three states – New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Teams reside in and around the New York, Philadelphia, and Buffalo metros with a pair of teams in the Hudson River Valley. There are a host of associate members as well, mostly for women’s water polo, men’s lacrosse, and rowing.
Conference members as of July 2022 will include Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University, and Siena College.
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