Three new schools will be joining SUNY Canton in the North Atlantic Conference beginning July 1, 2020.

The athletic programs being added included Cazenovia, SUNY Cobleskill and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

The new members bring the total number of full institutional members to twelve, and allows for an east-west divisional competition schedule in most sports while shoring up access to the NCAA automatic qualification bid for several sports.

“The addition of our three new members achieves the first phase of our strategic plan to grow the NAC regionally,” said commissioner Marcella Zalot in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with them to shape the NAC vision and offer increasing transformational growth opportunities for our student athletes. I am excited for our future together.”

All three schools sponsor ten NAC sports — baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and women’s volleyball. Cazenovia and SUNY Poly also sponsor women’s lacrosse, while SUNY Cobleskill offers men’s golf and men’s and women’s track and field. Each department supports teams outside NAC sponsorship as well.

SUNY Delhi begins competition as full members this fall, while the conference welcomed UMaine-Presque Isle and SUNY Canton as full members in 2018-19, joining UMaine-Farmington, Husson University, and Northern Vermont University-Johnson, Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, Maine Maritime Academy, and Thomas College (ME).

The North Atlantic Conference was founded in 1997 as the North Atlantic Women’s Conference (NAWC), giving female student-athletes an opportunity to compete in a post-season tournament. The NAWC was then rebranded as the North Atlantic Conference in 1999.

The NAC currently sponsors 16 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports in Division III of the NCAA, including baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field and women’s volleyball.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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