ANNVILLE, Pa. – On Tuesday, Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC) Executive Committee Chair and Misericordia University President Dr. Thomas Botzman announced the addition of York College of Pennsylvania as the 18th member of the MAC and the 10th member of the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth (MAC Commonwealth) beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. York will leave the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) following the 2019-20 season.
“The MAC colleges and universities look forward to working with and competing against the York College Spartans,” said President Botzman. “They are a good match in academics and athletics for our student-athletes.”
"We are excited to join the MAC and compete among the outstanding colleges and universities that are members," said York President Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith. "Membership in the MAC is a great fit for York College and will provide a more regional travel schedule for our teams. As founding members of the Capital Athletic Conference, we are both grateful for and proud of the affiliation we have shared over the past 29 years in the CAC."
York brings 23 varsity sports to the MAC in 2020-21. The Spartans will compete in the MAC and MAC Commonwealth in the following sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field (indoor and outdoor), women’s volleyball and wrestling.
“I am delighted to welcome York College to the MAC (and MAC Commonwealth) effective July 1, 2020,” said Ken Andrews, Executive Director of the MAC. “Their academic and athletic missions mesh with our 17 current members. Furthermore, MAC student-athletes will benefit from the competitive prowess of their teams, exceptional facilities and location. Throughout the entire admission process their administration has impressed us with a commitment to the student-athlete experience, a primary feature of our philosophy and principles. We look forward to a long partnership that will commence with the fall of 2020.”
“Though this is a monumental change for York College Athletics, because of geography, I expect our transition to the MAC to be rather natural,” said York College Assistant Dean for Athletics and Recreation Paul Saikia. “In most of our sports, the MAC has routinely accounted for a number of our non-conference opponents, so there is a great deal of familiarity. As a matter of fact, I believe we will have competed against MAC opponents in every sport except one this year. Of course, every conference is different--I’m not sure how much it will show up on the field of play, but administratively there will be some adjustments, especially when moving from an organization of eight to 18. The bottom line is that we are obligated to provide the best experience we can for our student-athletes, and we believe that membership in the Middle Atlantic Conference is part of that commitment.”
The Spartans depart the CAC having had a successful 29-year run in the league they helped found in 1989. York has captured 33 team championships, 49 Coach of the Year honors, 37 CAC Player of the Year award winners, and 57 Rookie of the Year honorees.
“There are so many positive aspects to this move for us,” said Saikia. “Though it’s not readily apparent to our student-athletes, the greatest of them may be stability. The MAC is a well-established conference with a membership that is bound by commonalities. With that comes the advantages of full conference schedules and automatic NCAA qualifying berths for every team sport. I see the more condensed footprint of the MAC as an opportunity to build rivalries, to provide our fans with more access to see us play when we’re on the road, and to draw larger crowds at home. As we’ve become accustomed to in the CAC, the competition will be excellent and we’re looking forward to growing new alliances that will be mutually beneficial.”
Saikia is thankful for the Spartans’ time in the CAC.
“We are a charter member of the CAC. For those of us who have been part of the conference since its first day, there is certainly an emotional tie. We are thankful for our opportunities and experiences in the CAC. Our history will proudly include thirty years of valued affiliation with institutions that were both wonderfully-collegial partners and tremendous opponents. Together, I think we’ve done a fantastic job of providing our student-athletes with an excellent platform for everything NCAA Division III aspires to be. We look forward to continuing our relationship with each of the CAC schools as we meet down the road in non-conference and NCAA championship play.”
About the Middle Atlantic Conferences
Located in Annville, Pa., the Middle Atlantic Conferences is an NCAA Division III conference comprised of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth (MAC Commonwealth) and Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom (MAC Freedom).
Its 17 member institutions, located across four states, are: Albright College (Reading, Pa.), Alvernia University (Reading, Pa.), Arcadia University (Glenside, Pa.), Delaware Valley University (Doylestown, Pa.), DeSales University (Center Valley, Pa.), Eastern University (St. Davids, Pa.), Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus (Madison, N.J.), Hood College (Frederick, Md.), King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Lebanon Valley College (Annville, Pa.), Lycoming College (Williamsport, Pa.), Manhattanville College (Purchase, N.Y.), Messiah College (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Misericordia University (Dallas, Pa.), Stevenson University (Owings Mills, Md.), Widener University (Chester, Pa.) and Wilkes University (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.).
Manhattanville College will depart the MAC and MAC Freedom for the Skyline Conference after the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year. Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.) will join the MAC and MAC Freedom beginning July 1, 2019.
The MAC currently sponsors 27 intercollegiate sports that compete in the NCAA Division III. More than 7,700 student-athletes participate in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s volleyball and wrestling.
What They Are Saying
“The MAC will be positive for us in Cross Country and Track & Field. We will race many more teams that are in the Mideast Region, as well as have a large conference meet. We will also compete at the Conference and Regional level with schools that we race throughout the season, and teams that attend our home track meet each year.”
– Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Stephen Lobianco
“We are extremely excited to be joining the MAC. Since 2012 we have not been a part of a conference and to be joining the MAC will give our guys the opportunity to compete against some of the top teams on the east coast. “
- Head Wrestling Coach Duane Bastress
"York College entering the MAC is a great opportunity for our volleyball program to continue some amazing rivalries that we have developed over the past years with current MAC programs. We look forward to taking the court in 2020 to continue those rivalries and hopefully create some exciting new ones. We are also thankful for our time in the CAC which has always provided us with great competition and helped us raise the level of competitiveness in our program."
- Head Volleyball Coach Dan Mickle
"While I am grateful for my time spent competing in the CAC for the past 22 years, I welcome this opportunity to join the MAC. I will miss the relationships and rivalries that were built over the years in the CAC, but I feel it is the right time for the Spartan athletic department to make this move. The MAC has a very strong tradition in the sport of women's basketball and I look forward to joining a group of veteran coaches who also take such tremendous pride in their programs."
- Head Women’s Basketball Coach Betsy Witman
“I am excited for our entire department. It’s a great thing for all our teams to be in a league with automatic bids and for our wrestling team to have a league to compete in. I am excited to be able to develop local rivalries.”
- Head Men’s Basketball Coach Matt Hunter
“It's certainly an exciting time to be a Spartan! We are thrilled with the opportunity to join the MAC and are excited to begin this new chapter at York College. This move positively affects the student-athlete experience and gives us the opportunity to continue competing against the best teams on the East Coast. The CAC was a great home for us in years past, and now we are looking forward to a new era and the chance to create new positive and competitive rivalries.”
- Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Jen Muston
“This is an exciting move for us to be joining the MAC. I value each of the relationships built during our time in the CAC and I am looking forward to the next chapter as we begin membership in another outstanding conference allowing our student-athletes to compete at the highest level against strong opponents.”
- Head Softball Coach Jen Petteys