The Eastern Nazarene College Department of Athletics will join the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, President Corlis McGee announced today.
Currently, ENC belongs to the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The decision to join the NECC follows a lengthy process of evaluating opportunities designed to position ENC Athletics for continued and sustainable success.
"Our excitement for joining the NECC stems from an opportunity to partner with member schools that desire an increasingly competitive conference," McGee said. "The addition of ENC increases the strength of the conference and matches our intentions to offer a transformative athletic experience for our student-athletes. ENC regularly competes against many of the member colleges of the NECC in all sports, so we already have an existing and very positive relationship."
ENC sponsors 15 intercollegiate athletic programs. Sports for men include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Women compete in basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
The NECC, established in 2007, has 10 member colleges and universities throughout the region, including four in the immediate vicinity of Boston. The opportunity to partner with these schools strengthens ENC's position in Boston while extending the college's reach to other parts of New England.
"We are delighted that Eastern Nazarene College has decided to join the New England Collegiate Conference to provide an invaluable DIII student-athlete experience," said Dr. Joseph L. Chillo, president of Newbury College and chair of the NECC Council of Presidents. "The addition of Eastern Nazarene College to the conference further signifies the strength of the NECC and the similarity of institutions all focused on providing an outstanding academic and athletic experience for students. The NECC Selection Committee was most impressed with President McGee and her staff in their commitment to providing a strong, mission-driven experience for their students."
ENC's relationship with the NECC has already been initiated by ENC's men's volleyball program, which currently competes in the conference. Full participation for all other sports will begin in 2018-19.
"The addition of Eastern Nazarene College as a full-member of the NECC is a positive step in the growth of the conference," NECC Commissioner Del Malloy said. "Throughout the years, athletic programs at ENC have stood for the very best in Division III. They are true student-athletes who compete hard and always exhibit high standards of teamwork, respect and good sportsmanship whenever they play. We look forward to this partnership for years to come."