NEWMAC to Sponsor Football Beginning in 2017

NEWMAC to Sponsor Football Beginning in 2017

Written by Brian Magoffin, Springfield College Director of Sports Communication

BOSTON, Mass. – The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) is excited to announce that it will begin sponsoring the sport of football starting in the 2017 season. Conference members, the United States Coast Guard Academy, MIT, Springfield College and WPI will be joined by Maine Maritime Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Norwich University, who enter the NEWMAC as associate members in 2017. Football becomes the 20th conference championship and the league's ninth men's offering.

“This is a wonderful moment for the NEWMAC,” said H. Kim Bottomly, president of Wellesley College and chair of the NEWMAC Presidents Council. “This growth is a testament to the continued academic and athletic excellence for which NEWMAC schools are known."

Springfield, WPI, and Merchant Marine have been participating in the Liberty League, while MIT, Coast Guard, and Maine Maritime were members of the New England Football Conference, and Norwich was a part of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. In addition to the connection Maine Maritime, Merchant Marine and Norwich have to Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield and WPI in football; they also have long-standing relationships with NEWMAC members in other sports. 

Patrick B. Summers, the NEWMAC Executive Director, shared his excitement about the announcement saying, “The NEWMAC’s commitment to academic and athletic excellence was once again first and foremost in the decision to bring football under the conference’s umbrella. The ability to add another sport which our institution’s sponsor under the conference’s jurisdiction allows us to help create the best possible experience for our student-athletes and falls in line with the NEWMAC’s Strategic Plan.”

Norwich, Maine Maritime, and Merchant Marine join the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (men’s lacrosse) and Simmons College (women’s rowing) as associate members in the conference.

Summers went on to say “It gives me great pleasure to officially welcome Maine Maritime, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Norwich University to the NEWMAC as associate members in the sport. It has been a pleasure working with these institutions and the NEWMAC administrators to establish NEWMAC football. It was clear that their desire to uphold the NEWMAC’s dedication to both academic and athletic excellence was sincere and made them ideal fit as pioneering members of this sport."

The NEWMAC will not immediately receive an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Football Championship but institutions will be eligible to qualify for the Division III NCAA Football Championship through an at-large selection. Per NCAA bylaws, there is a two-year waiting period, and the conference should receive an AQ for the 2019-2020 academic year.  The seven football-playing members of the NEWMAC have combined to go to 13 NCAA Tournaments and have played in 22 ECAC Championship Bowl Games. The NEWMAC will continue to evaluate the need for an eighth team.



Springfield College

Springfield College is excited to have our football program join the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference beginning in 2017 and be a part of the strong athletic competition the NEWMAC provides for our student-athletes. The change allows our student-athletes to compete in our New England region against like-minded institutions in which Springfield College already competes against in other NEWMAC sports.

- Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper, President

The NEWMAC is a highly-competitive conference comprised of outstanding academic and athletic institutions and we are pleased to have football a part of our all-sport conference.  Bringing football under the NEWMAC umbrella will ensure a consistent experience for more of our student-athletes and the opportunity to create an affinity relationship with conference institutions.  The NEWMAC presidents have endorsed the addition of the sport of football as part of the strategic plan, and the move makes sense from a geographical and economic standpoint for Springfield College.  It will benefit many of our constituencies, including fans, students, families and friends of the football program and I am excited to be increasing our presence in the New England area once again.  

- Dr. Cathie Schweitzer, Director of Athletics

We are excited at what joining the NEWMAC will do for our football program.  Not only will this give us the opportunity to play a schedule and renew old rivalries throughout New England, but it also provides us with long-term stability from a conference point of view.  We enjoyed our affiliation with the Liberty League, and as we move into the NEWMAC, our goals remain the same; to compete for a conference title and play in the postseason.

- Mike DeLong, Head Football Coach





This is a proud moment for the university, and for WPI football. The NEWMAC is one of the premier athletic conferences in Division III and we are thrilled to now have our football program be part of its legacy.  WPI football is an important program for us with a long history of competitiveness and commitment to student-athletes, and we will continue to build upon those values in the NEWMAC.

 - Laurie Leshin, President

The addition of football as a NEWMAC sport in 2017 is a tremendous development for our primary athletic conference and for WPI.  The NEWMAC now allows us to be a founding member for football and to build on our already strong commitment to our partners in the conference. We are excited at this opportunity for a new home for WPI football.

- Dana L. Harmon, Director of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics

This announcement signifies another great step in the growth of the NEWMAC and the WPI Football Program.  To bring football under the already strong and recognized NEWMAC is the next step for the conference and for our football program.  Having positive and existing relationships with Springfield, MIT, and Coast Guard within the NEWMAC will make this transition smooth, seamless, and long-lasting.  In addition, the rivalries of Norwich and Kings Point will allow us to continue to build an even stronger relationship with those associate members for football.  Best of all, with the addition of the sponsorship of football, it will give Engineer Football a home in an already established, highly-regarded, and nationally-recognized conference.

- Chris Robertson, Head Football Coach



The United States Coast Guard Academy

The sport of football occupies a prominent place in the culture of federal service academies, and as such the formation of NEWMAC football starting in 2017 represents a tremendous opportunity for the Coast Guard Academy.  As Superintendent, it is very important to me that our athletic teams have the chance to compete regularly against institutions whose academic emphasis and core values closely align with ours. We are very proud to join the ranks of NEWMAC football, and look forward to high-spirited action and the formation of new rivalries, while continuing our historic, traditional competition with Norwich University and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. This is a great day for the NEWMAC and the Coast Guard Academy.

- Admiral Sandra L. Stosz, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

We at the Coast Guard Academy are very pleased and proud to be a part of creating NEWMAC football. This will enhance respectful rivalries that already exist with our NEWMAC brethren MIT, WPI and Springfield - as well as Maine Maritime from the NEFC. It is particularly advantageous that we will now compete in conference games starting in 2017 against our historic rivals Merchant Marine and Norwich. This is truly an historic day in the rich history of CGA football, and we look forward to the future with great anticipation.

- Tim Fitzpatrick, Director of Athletics

We are excited with the formation of NEWMAC football and having long time archrival Merchant Marine as a league opponent once again. We are looking forward to renewing the series with Norwich, Springfield and WPI, all of whom are former rivals while maintaining our yearly league matchups with Maine Maritime and MIT.  The NEWMAC is a strong conference with outstanding institutions and the addition of football is exciting for everyone involved and we look forward to beginning conference play in 2017.

- Bill George, Head Football Coach




This is a very exciting time for the NEWMAC. Adding football to the conference has been a part of our strategic plan and will put the NEWMAC in a strong position for the future.

- Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor

As part of the NEWMAC Strategic Plan, it is exciting to see the addition of football come to fruition.  Our experience in the NEFC has been tremendous.  As an institution, we also welcome the new challenges that will come with competing against the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Norwich University, Springfield College and WPI.

- Julie Soriero, Director of Athletics

This is a great opportunity for both the MIT football program and the NEWMAC. I know that our team will look forward to the opportunity to compete as a member of the NEWMAC. The NEWMAC has a long and rich history and to have football now become a part of that is truly an honor for our sport. We are certainly looking forward to competing as a part of the NEWMAC.

- Chad Martinovich, Head Football Coach 



Norwich University

I am very pleased to be joining this Conference as the schools represented here adhere to our values and are fine academic institutions that believe in Division III principles of being a student athlete with student first and athlete second.  We play sports at Norwich to build our student’s leadership skills and instill a sense of pride for our student body, alumni and friends.  This conference also allows us to continue long held rivalries, especially with our sister military institutions. All the institutions in this conference believe as we do that you are not passing the football if you are not passing your academic courses!  It is the best of college athletics. Of course, I am personally thrilled to compete with the Coast Guard Academy Bears team as well as to establish new regional rivalries.

- Dr. Richard W. Schneider, President

I am extremely excited for Norwich football to be a part of the NEWMAC football conference.  To be able to compete against the high quality of institutions and football programs in this league will further engage alumni and the campus community in what promises to be spirited and sportsmanlike competition. It has always been our goal to be able to compete with USCGA, Kings Point and Maine Maritime on a yearly basis is very important to our university and our alumni.  This is an exciting time for Norwich football and I look forward to the start of the NEWMAC football conference.

- Anthony Mariano, Director of Athletics

The opportunity to represent Norwich University as an affiliate member of the NEWMAC is exciting to our football team of athletes and coaches.  This change comes with an expression of gratitude to NEWMAC for their welcome to a conference renowned for student-athletes like our own, who strive for excellence; compete with integrity; and display respect in all that they do.  I am mindful of our path to reach this point and forever grateful for the many opportunities, the outstanding competition and the lasting relationships made in the ECFC. Not often do you get the chance to return where you started; I feel as if we are doing this now with Norwich’s move to the NEWMAC.  (Old Freedom Football Conference) Schools in this conference are outstanding both athletically and academically, and we look forward to a new beginning that will provide even stronger opportunities for development, growth and leadership of our current team and future players while engaging our fan base as we tackle old rivalries. 

- Mark Murnyack, Head Football Coach



Maine Maritime Academy

In joining the NEWMAC, Maine Maritime Academy is afforded the opportunity through athletics to associate with a group of institutions that share common values and similar academic missions. The NEWMAC’s core values emphasizing excellence, integrity and respect fit hand-in-hand with our values as an institution. The NEWMAC’s national leadership at the Division III level, its commitment to the Division III philosophy, and its emphasis on academics, sportsmanship, honor, and integrity make it one of the nation’s most prestigious leagues.  It is an excellent home for Maine Maritime football.

- Dr. William J. Brennan, President

Obviously we are quite pleased to be associated with the NEWMAC. The quality of the core membership as well as the associate members in football, from both the academic and athletic perspectives, made this an extremely attractive destination for Maine Maritime. I am excited for the opportunity for our students, alumni and fans to be a part of a great conference schedule that will breed some outstanding rivalries.

- Stephen Peed, Director of Athletics

We are excited to play some new teams and be part of a new conference, with good academic schools and good football programs. We look forward to new challenges and creating some new rivalries.

- Head Football Coach, Christopher McKenney



The United States Merchant Marine Academy

We are thrilled to be a part of this new football league with the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. The NEWMAC’s core values of excellence, integrity and respect, and its mission to support student-development and educational value through athletics aligns with USMMA’s mission to produce our nation’s future leaders.

- James Helis, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Superintendent RADM

We are excited about USMMA’s opportunity to participate as a member of NEWMAC Football and to compete in spirited contests against like-minded maritime, military and academic focused institutions.

- Captain Bill Fell, Interim Director of Athletics

We look forward to the competitiveness that NEWMAC football offers and to begin a new era of rivalries.

- Mike Toop, Head Football Coach