Merrimack officially joins NEC with start of new year

The NEC released the following, announcing that Merrimack has officially joined the league now that the new academic year has started …

The start of the 2019-20 academic year has brought a new addition to the Northeast Conference (NEC).

Merrimack College, which accepted the NEC’s invitation to become the league’s 11th full time member last September, begins it’s four-year NCAA reclassification today on its way to becoming an official member of the conference in 2023-24.

Coming off a two-year stretch that saw Merrimack win back-to-back Northeast-10 Presidents’ Cups and NCAA championships in men’s lacrosse, while sporting 27 All-Americans and eight CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, the Warriors are excited to begin their Division I journey.

“Here we go! Today marks the start of a new and exciting era for Merrimack Athletics,” said Jeremy Gibson, Merrimack Director of Athletics. “We are are incredibly grateful to Commissioner Morris, her staff and the entire NEC membership for their support. The Warriors can’t wait for D1 competition starting this fall!”

Merrimack offers a broad-based athletic program, fielding 10 men’s and 14 women’s sports teams. Sports sponsorship at Merrimack includes baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, women’s golf, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball. Merrimack will sponsor 21 of the NEC’s 23 sports in 2019-20, the only exceptions being men’s golf and women’s bowling.

Merrimack will be fully incorporated fully into NEC athletic schedules and count in the conference standings this coming season in all sports aside from football. During its reclassification Merrimack will be able to participate in NEC championships in NCAA non-automatic qualifier sports (cross country, swimming and diving, and indoor and outdoor track and field) only.

“Ten months ago we were thrilled to extend an invite to Merrimack College to become the 11th member of the Northeast Conference and today we are ecstatic to celebrate their official welcome to the NEC family,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “With each passing day, I am more impressed with the Warriors level of commitment and dedication to building a Division I program that will provide a first-class student-athlete experience.”

The addition of Merrimack marked the first NEC expansion since 2012 when Bryant was added to the membership. Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner are charter NEC members. Mount St. Mary’s was admitted in 1989, Central Connecticut in 1997, Sacred Heart in 1999 and Bryant in 2012.

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