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The Northeast Conference (NEC) is a collegiate athletic conference whose schools are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Teams in the NEC compete in Division I for all sports except football, which competes in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly Division I-AA. Participating schools are located principally in the Northeastern United States.
|Headquarters||Somerset, New Jersey|
|Commissioner||Noreen Morris (since 2010)|
The conference was named the ECAC Metro Conference when it was established in 1981. The original eleven member schools were Fairleigh Dickinson University, the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University (whose athletic program has now merged with that of LIU's Post campus into a single athletic program), Loyola College in Maryland (left in 1989), Marist College (left in 1997), Robert Morris University (left in 2020), St. Francis College (NY), Saint Francis College (PA), Siena College (left in 1984), Towson State University (left in 1982), the University of Baltimore (left in 1983) and Wagner College.
The conference's name was changed to its present form on August 1, 1988. Other names considered were Big North, Great North, North Shore, Northern, Northeastern, Eastern and Eastern Private Intercollegiate.
The Northeast Conference has expanded eight times since 1981. The expansions and additions from the original charter members were in 1985 (Monmouth University, which left in 2013), 1989 (Mount St. Mary's University), 1992 (Rider University, which left in 1997), 1997 (Central Connecticut State University), 1998 (Quinnipiac University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County which respectively left in 2013 and 2003), 1999 (Sacred Heart University), 2008 (Bryant University), and 2019 (Merrimack College). The Northeast Conference's rank was largest at 12 in 2008 with the addition of Bryant University; it dropped to 10 in 2013 with the departure of Monmouth and Quinnipiac for the MAAC, returned to 11 with the 2019 addition of Merrimack, and again dropped to 10 in 2020 with the departure of Robert Morris for the Horizon League.
Additional changes were announced in 2018 and took effect with the 2019–20 school year. First, on September 10, the NEC announced it would add Merrimack. Then, on October 3, Long Island University announced that it would combine its two existing athletic programs—NEC member LIU Brooklyn and the Division II program at LIU Post—into a single Division I program under the LIU name. The new LIU program, nicknamed Sharks, maintains LIU Brooklyn's previous memberships in Division I and the NEC. The most recent change took place on July 1, 2020, when charter member Robert Morris left to join the Horizon League.
The Northeast Conference has a total of 10 full members in 24 championship sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's bowling, men's and women's cross country, women's field hockey, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's indoor track & field, women's lacrosse, men's and women's outdoor track & field, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball.
Men's lacrosse became the league's 23rd sport for the 2011 season. The number of sports dropped to 22 after the 2012–13 school year, when the conference dropped field hockey. The departure of Monmouth and Quinnipiac to become all-sports members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in July 2013 gave the MAAC four full members that sponsored the sport; the other two were NEC single-sport affiliates Rider and Siena. The MAAC then decided to add field hockey as a sponsored sport for the 2013 season, and all of the NEC's remaining field hockey programs eventually joined the MAAC except for Saint Francis (PA), which joined the Atlantic 10 Conference. The NEC reinstated field hockey as a sponsored sport for the 2019 season with seven members—full members Bryant, LIU, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, and Wagner, plus associate members Fairfield and Rider. The most recent addition to the NEC's sports roster is men's swimming & diving, added for 2020–21 with full members Bryant, LIU, Mount St. Mary's, and St. Francis Brooklyn plus incoming associate member Howard.
Currently, a total of seven affiliate members compete in football, men's lacrosse, men's and women's swimming, and women's bowling. One of these, namely Howard, will add men's and women's soccer, women's lacrosse, and women's golf to its NEC membership in 2021–22.
Current full membersEdit
- Prior to 2019–20, LIU operated two separate athletic programs, with only that of the school's Brooklyn campus being an NEC member.
- The merged LIU athletic program bases some sports at the Brooklyn campus and others at the Post campus in Brookville, New York.
- Combined enrollment of the Brooklyn and Post campuses. All LIU varsity sports are open to undergraduates at either campus who meet NCAA eligibility requirements.
Former full membersEdit
Current affiliate membersEdit
|Institution||Location||Founded||Joined||Type||Enrollment||Nickname||Primary Conference||NEC Sport(s)|
|Caldwell University||Caldwell, New Jersey||1939||2014–15||Private||1,800||Cougars||Central Atlantic
(NCAA Division II)
|Duquesne University||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||1878||2008–09 (football)
|Private||10,184||Dukes||Atlantic 10||football; women's bowling|
|Fairfield University||Fairfield, Connecticut||1942||2019–20[a]||Private||4,991||Stags||MAAC||field hockey|
|Hobart College||Geneva, New York||1822||2013–14||Private||2,105||Statesmen||Liberty League
(NCAA Division III)
|Howard University||Washington, D.C.||1867||2020-21||Private||10,000||Bison/Lady Bison||Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference||men’s swimming & diving; |
women’s swimming & diving
|Rider University||Lawrenceville, New Jersey||1865||2019–20[b]||Private||5,790||Broncs||MAAC||field hockey|
|Saint Joseph's University||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||1851||2013–14||Private||7,900||Hawks||Atlantic 10||men's lacrosse|
- Fairfield field hockey had previously competed in the NEC from 2004 to 2006 (academic years 2004–2007).
- Rider field hockey had previously competed in the NEC from 1998 to 2012 (academic years 1998–2013).
Future affiliate membersEdit
|Institution||Location||Founded||Joining||Type||Enrollment||Nickname||Primary Conference||NEC Sport(s)|
|Howard University||Washington, D.C.||1867||2020-21||Private||10,000||Bison/Lady Bison||Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference||men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse and women’s golf (2021-22)|
Former affiliate membersEdit
- Represents primary conference during the final season of the school's NEC tenure.
- Adelphi and Kutztown are currently bowling members of the Division II East Coast Conference.
- Albany football currently plays in the Colonial Athletic Association. The school remains a full America East member.
- Lock Haven currently plays field hockey in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
- New Jersey City bowling currently competes as a single-sport member of the Division III Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
- NJIT left NEC men's lacrosse after only one season when it became a full member of the America East Conference, which sponsors that sport.
- Siena dropped field hockey after the 2017–18 school year.
- St. John's dropped football after the 2002 season.
- Saint Peter's dropped bowling after the 2017–18 season.
- The VMI men's swimming program joined the NEC for the 2003–04 school year. The women's swimming team became a varsity program during the 2005–06 school year.
- At the time of their membership in the Northeastern Conference, VMI was a member of the Big South. In 2014, they became full members of the Southern Conference. In swimming, the Keydets left the NEC to join the league now known as the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, and since 2017–18 have competed in the America East Conference.
Full members Full members (non-football) Football Affiliate Affiliate member (other sports) Other Conference Other Conference
The Northeast Conference currently sponsors championship competition in 11 men's and 13 women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Seven schools are associate members in five of those sports.
The most recent additions to the NEC sports lineup came in 2019 and 2020. First, the NEC reinstated field hockey as a sponsored sport for the 2019 season (2019–20 school year) after having dropped the sport following the 2012 season. Bryant, LIU, Sacred Heart, and Wagner were joined by incoming full member Merrimack and incoming associates Fairfield and Rider. Men's swimming & diving was added the following year, with full members Bryant, LIU, Mount St. Mary's and St. Francis Brooklyn joined by incoming associate Howard.
|Swimming & Diving||5||10|
|Track and Field (Indoor)||9||10|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)||9||10|
Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Football||Golf||Lacrosse||Soccer||Swimming & Diving||Tennis||Track & Field
|Track & Field
|Mount St. Mary's||N||10|
|St. Francis Brooklyn||N||N||N||N||N||6|
|Saint Francis (PA)||N||N||N||8|
- Football associate Duquesne.
- Men's lacrosse associates Hobart and Saint Joseph's.
- Swimming & diving associate Howard.
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Northeast Conference which are played by NEC schools:
|School||Fencing[a]||Ice Hockey||Volleyball||Water Polo||Wrestling|
|Sacred Heart||NEIFC||Atlantic Hockey||EIVA||—||EIWA|
|St. Francis Brooklyn||—||—||Independent[c]||CWPA||—|
|Saint Francis (PA)||—||—||EIVA||—||—|
- Fencing is a coeducational sport, with schools having men's and women's squads and all individual matches involving members of the same sex. While four NEC members sponsor fencing, only Sacred Heart fields both men's and women's squads.
- LIU added men's ice hockey in 2020. It has not yet announced a conference affiliation.
- St. Francis Brooklyn will join the EIVA in 2021 (2022 season).
Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Field Hockey||Golf||Lacrosse||Soccer||Softball||Swimming & Diving||Tennis||Track & Field
|Track & Field
|Mount St. Mary's||N||N||11|
|St. Francis Brooklyn||N||N||N||10|
|Saint Francis (PA)||N||12|
- Bowling associates Caldwell and Duquesne.
- Field hockey associates Fairfield and Rider.
- Swimming & diving associate Howard.
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Northeast Conference which are played by NEC schools:
|School||Equestrian[a]||Fencing[b]||Gymnastics||Ice Hockey||Rowing||Rugby[a]||Triathlon[a]||Water Polo|
|Mount St. Mary's||—||—||—||—||—||IND[d]||—||—|
|St. Francis Brooklyn||—||——||—||—||—||—||MAAC|
|Saint Francis (PA)||—||A-10||—||—||—||—||—||CWPA|
In addition to the above, Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart count their female cheerleaders (but not male cheerleaders) as varsity athletes.
- Part of the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program.
- Fencing is a coeducational sport, with schools having men's and women's squads and all individual matches involving members of the same sex. Of the four NEC members that sponsor the sport, Sacred Heart has both men's and women's squads, and Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU and Wagner field only women's squads.
- Merrimack has not yet announced a women's rowing affiliation.
- The NCAA considers all rugby schools that do not compete in the sport within a recognized NCAA conference to be independents.
- The NCAA considers all equestrian schools that do not compete in the sport within a recognized NCAA conference to be independents.
- The NCAA considers all triathlon schools that do not compete in the sport within a recognized NCAA conference to be independents.
Men's basketball championsEdit
|Season||Regular Season Champion||Tournament Champion|
|1982||Fairleigh Dickinson (12–3)||Robert Morris|
|1983||Robert Morris (12–2)||Robert Morris|
|1984||Long Island (11–5)||Long Island|
|1985||Marist (11–3)||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|1986||Fairleigh Dickinson (13–3)||Marist|
|1988||Fairleigh Dickinson (13–3)||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|1989||Robert Morris (12–4)||Robert Morris|
|1990||Robert Morris (12–4)||Robert Morris|
|1991||Saint Francis (PA) (13–3)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|1992||Robert Morris (12–4)||Robert Morris|
|1995||Rider (13–5)||Mount Saint Mary's|
|1996||Mount Saint Mary's (16–2)||Monmouth|
|1997||Long Island (15–3)||Long Island|
|1998||Long Island (14–2)||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|1999||UMBC (17–3)||Mount Saint Mary's|
|2000||Central Connecticut St. (15–3)||Central Connecticut St.|
|2001||St. Francis (NY) (16–4)||Monmouth|
|2002||Central Connecticut St. (19–1)||Central Connecticut St.|
|2004||Monmouth and St. Francis (NY) (12–6)||Monmouth|
|2005||Monmouth (14–4)||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|2006||Fairleigh Dickinson (14–4)||Monmouth|
|2007||Central Connecticut St. (16–2)||Central Connecticut St.|
|2008||Robert Morris (16–2)||Mount Saint Mary's|
|2009||Robert Morris (15–3)||Robert Morris|
|2010||Quinnipiac (15–3)||Robert Morris|
|2011||Long Island (16–2)||Long Island|
|2012||Long Island (16–2)||Long Island|
|2013||Robert Morris (14–4)||Long Island|
|2014||Robert Morris (14–2)||Mount Saint Mary's|
|2015||St. Francis Brooklyn (15–3)||Robert Morris|
|2016||Wagner (13-5)||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|2017||Mount Saint Mary's (14-4)||Mount Saint Mary's|
|2018||Wagner (14-4)||LIU Brooklyn|
|2019||Saint Francis (PA) and Fairleigh Dickinson (12–6)||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|2020||Merrimack (14–4)[a]||Robert Morris|
- Merrimack was ineligible for the NEC tournament due to being in its first transitional year from NCAA Division II.
Women's basketball championsEdit
|Year||Regular Season Champions||Tournament Champions|
|1989-90||Mount St. Mary's||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|1990-91||Mount St. Mary's||Robert Morris|
|1991-92||Mount St. Mary's||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|1992-93||Fairleigh Dickinson/Mount St. Mary's||Mount St. Mary's|
|1993-94||Mount St. Mary's||Mount St. Mary's|
|1994-95||Mount St. Mary's||Mount St. Mary's|
|1995-96||Mount St. Mary's||Saint Francis (PA)|
|1996-97||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|1997-98||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|1998-99||Mount St. Mary's||Saint Francis (PA)|
|1999-00||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2000-01||Mount St. Mary's||Long Island|
|2001-02||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2002-03||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2003-04||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2004-05||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2005-06||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart|
|2006-07||Long Island, Robert Morris and Sacred Heart||Robert Morris|
|2007-08||Quinnipiac and Robert Morris||Robert Morris|
|2008-09||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart|
|2009-10||Robert Morris||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2010-11||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2011-12||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart|
|2013-14||Robert Morris||Robert Morris|
|2014-15||Bryant/Central Connecticut||St. Francis Brooklyn|
|2015-16||Sacred Heart||Robert Morris|
|2016-17||Robert Morris||Robert Morris|
|2017-18||Saint Francis (PA)||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2018–19||Robert Morris||Robert Morris|
|2019–20||Robert Morris||None; tournament canceled in progress due to COVID-19|
- 1996 – Robert Morris/Monmouth
- 1997 – Robert Morris
- 1998 – Monmouth/Robert Morris
- 1999 – Robert Morris
- 2000 – Robert Morris
- 2001 – Sacred Heart
- 2002 – Albany
- 2003 – Monmouth/Albany
- 2004 – Monmouth/Central Connecticut
- 2005 – Stony Brook/Central Connecticut
- 2006 – Monmouth
- 2007 – Albany
- 2008 – Albany
- 2009 – Central Connecticut
- 2010 – Robert Morris/Central Connecticut
- 2011 – Albany/Duquesne
- 2012 – Wagner/Albany
- 2013 – Sacred Heart/Duquesne
- 2014 – Sacred Heart/Wagner
- 2015 – Duquesne
- 2016 – Saint Francis (PA)/Duquesne
- 2017 – Central Connecticut
- 2018 – Duquesne/Sacred Heart
- 2019 - Central Connecticut
Most conference championshipsEdit
- 6 – Albany (3 shared)
- 6 – Robert Morris (3 shared)
- 6 – Central Connecticut (3 shared)
- 5 – Duquesne (4 shared)
- 5 – Monmouth (4 shared)
- 4 – Sacred Heart (3 shared)
- 2 – Wagner (2 shared)
- 1 – Saint Francis (PA) (1 shared)
- 1 – Stony Brook (1 shared)
Before the 2013 departure of Monmouth and Quinnipiac, the NEC had 6 rivalry matchups in the conference; which is most prevalent during NEC's men's and women's basketball "Rivalry Week." The concept of playing back-to-back games against a local rival the same week is the only one of its kind among the nation's 31 NCAA Division I conferences. The pre-2013 NEC rivalries are as follows (with the current NEC team listed first in the matchups that are now non-conference):
- Currently in-conference
- Battle of Brooklyn: LIU vs. St. Francis Brooklyn
- The Duel in New England: Central Connecticut vs. Bryant
- NY–MD Showdown: Mount St. Mary's vs. Wagner
- Garden State Rivalry: Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Monmouth (non-conference since 2013–14)
- Governor's Cup: Sacred Heart vs. Quinnipiac (non-conference since 2013–14)
- Keystone Clash: Robert Morris vs. Saint Francis (PA) (non-conference from 2020–21)
Brenda Weare Commissioner's CupEdit
The NEC Commissioner's Cup was instituted during the 1986-87 season with Long Island winning the inaugural award. Cup points are awarded in each NEC sponsored sport. For men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, football, women's bowling, softball, men's and women's lacrosse, and baseball, the final regular season standings are used to determine Cup points. Starting with the 2012-13 season, the Conference began awarding three bonus points to the NEC Tournament champion in those sports. In all other sports, points are awarded based on the finish at NEC Championship events.
|2018-19||Sacred Heart||Bryant||Sacred Heart|
|2017-18||Saint Francis (PA)||Bryant||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2016-17||Sacred Heart||Bryant||Sacred Heart|
|2015-16||Sacred Heart||Bryant||Sacred Heart|
|2013-14||Bryant||Bryant||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2012-13||Monmouth||Monmouth||Saint Francis (PA)|
|2011-12||Sacred Heart||Monmouth||Sacred Heart|
|2010-11||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart|
|2009-10||Sacred Heart||Monmouth||Sacred Heart|
|2008-09||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart||Sacred Heart|
|2007-08||Sacred Heart||Monmouth||Sacred Heart|
|2004-05||Monmouth||Monmouth||Saint Francis (PA)|
|1996-97||Mount St. Mary's|
|1995-96||Mount St. Mary's|
|1994-95||Mount St. Mary's|
- Ventre, Ralph. "Back to the Beginning: NEC Celebrates 30 Years," Northeast Conference, Thursday, March 3, 2011.
- Official press release issued Tuesday, August 2, 1988 (Announcement of name change from ECAC-Metro Conference to Northeast Conference).
- "Northeast Conference - 2012-13 NEC Men's Basketball Record Book" (PDF). www.northeastconference.org. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
- "BRYANT UNIVERSITY ACCEPTS INVITATION TO JOIN NORTHEAST CONFERENCE". 18 October 2007.
- "Northeast Conference - Merrimack College Accepts Invitation to Join Northeast Conference". northeastconference.org. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Welcome to the Shark Tank: Long Island University Chooses the Shark as New Mascot" (Press release). Long Island University. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- "Long Island University Announces Unification Into One LIU Division I Program" (Press release). LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. October 3, 2018. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "Northeast Conference - We Are The Northeast Conference".
- "MAAC to Add Field Hockey" (Press release). Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. April 19, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- "Northeast Conference Re-Establishes Field Hockey Championship" (Press release). Northeast Conference. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- "Six Howard University Athletics Programs Join the Northeast Conference As Associate Members" (Press release). Northeast Conference. July 6, 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
- "One LIU: Frequently Asked Questions". Long Island University. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "New Jersey City University Joins AMCC as Affiliate Member in Women's Bowling" (Press release). Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. May 27, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "NEC Welcomes NJIT as Men's Lacrosse Associate Member" (Press release). Northeast Conference. October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "NJIT to Join America East Conference as 10th Member Institution" (Press release). NJIT Highlanders. June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- "The Official Site of the Northeast Conference".
- "LIU Announces Addition of Men's Ice Hockey" (Press release). LIU Sharks. April 30, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "St. Francis College Brooklyn Men's Volleyball Accepted into EIVA" (Press release). St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers. May 6, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.