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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; football competes in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Participating schools are located principally in the Northeastern United States, from which the conference derives its name.
|Commissioner||Noreen Morris (since 2010)|
|No. of teams||9|
|Headquarters||Somerset, New Jersey|
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 admitted new members nine 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, which left in 2022), 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, which also left in 2022), 2019 (Merrimack College), and 2022 (Stonehill College). The Northeast Conference's full membership was largest at 12 in 2008 with the addition of Bryant University. It then dropped to 10 in 2013 with the departure of Monmouth and Quinnipiac for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (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. It most recently dropped to 9 in 2022 with the departure of Bryant and Mount St. Mary's, respectively for the America East Conference and the MAAC, plus the addition of Stonehill.
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. Another recent change took place on July 1, 2020, when charter member Robert Morris left to join the Horizon League. The next changes in membership were on July 1, 2022, with Bryant leaving for the America East Conference, Mount St. Mary's leaving for the MAAC, and Stonehill arriving from NCAA Division II.
The Northeast Conference has a total of 9 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 men's 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. A more recent addition to the NEC's sports roster was men's swimming & diving, added for 2020–21 with full members Bryant, LIU, Mount St. Mary's, St. Francis Brooklyn, and Wagner plus incoming associate member Howard.
In 2022–23, the NEC added one sport and dropped another. On September 30, 2021, the NEC announced that it would begin sponsoring men's volleyball in 2022–23 with six members. Before the end of the 2021–22 school year, the NEC announced that two Division II schools from the Buffalo, New York area, Daemen and D'Youville, would also become part of the new men's volleyball league. In a May 9, 2022 Twitter post, NEC commissioner Noreen Morris indicated that the NEC would shut down its men's lacrosse league after the then-ongoing 2022 season. The NEC had already lost two full members that sponsored the sport, and would eventually lose its two affiliate members in that sport when the Atlantic 10 Conference announced it would launch a men's lacrosse league in the 2023 season. Three of the remaining four NEC men's lacrosse programs became affiliate members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The other program, Merrimack, was in talks with several lacrosse-sponsoring conferences for affiliate membership, and eventually joined the America East in time for the 2023 season.
In July 2022, the Northeast Conference announced a partnership with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in which MEAC schools sponsoring baseball and men's and women's golf would become affiliate members in their respective sports beginning in the 2022-23 season. That September, the NEC announced that MEAC member Delaware State, which had just joined NEC baseball and women's golf, would add women's lacrosse and women's soccer to its NEC membership in 2023–24.
Currently, a total of 12 affiliate members compete in football, women's golf, women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, women's bowling, and men's volleyball.
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
- The University of Baltimore dropped intercollegiate athletics after the 1982–83 academic year.
Current affiliate membersEdit
|Coppin State University||Baltimore, Maryland||1900||2022-23||Public||2,348||Eagles||Baseball||MEAC|
|Daemen University||Amherst, New York||1947||Private||2,156||Wildcats||Men's volleyball||ECC|
|Delaware State University||Dover, Delaware||1891||Public||4,768||Hornets||Baseball||MEAC|
|Duquesne University||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||1878||2008-09||Private||10,184||Dukes||Football||Atlantic 10|
|D'Youville University||Buffalo, New York||1946||2022-23||1,475||Saints||Men's volleyball||ECC|
|Fairfield University||Fairfield, Connecticut||1942||2022-23[a]||4,991||Stags||Field hockey||MAAC|
|Howard University||Washington, D.C.||1867||2020-21||10,000||Bison/Lady Bison||Men's swimming & diving||MEAC|
|Women's swimming & diving|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore||Princess Anne, Maryland||1886||Public||2,888||Hawks||Baseball|
|Norfolk State University||Norfolk, Virginia||1935||5,601||Spartans||Baseball|
|North Carolina Central University||Durham, North Carolina||1910||8,011||Eagles||Men's golf|
|Rider University||Lawrenceville, New Jersey||1865||2019-20[b]||Private||5,790||Broncs||Field hockey||MAAC|
- Fairfield field hockey had previously competed in the NEC from the 2004 to 2006 fall seasons (2004–05 to 2006–07 school years).
- Rider field hockey had previously competed in the NEC from the 1998 to 2012 fall seasons (1998–99 to 2012–13 school years).
Future affiliate membersEdit
|Delaware State University||Dover, Delaware||1891||2023-24||Public||4,768||Hornets||Women's lacrosse||MEAC|
Former affiliate membersEdit
- CAA Football is technically a separate entity from the all-sports Colonial Athletic Association, though both share the same administration.
- 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.
- St. John's dropped football after the 2002 fall season (2002–03 school year).
- When Saint Peter's was an NEC associate, its men's teams used the nickname Peacocks, with women's teams using Peahens. The university has since adopted Peacocks for all teams.
- Saint Peter's dropped bowling after the 2017–18 school year.
- Siena dropped field hockey after the 2017 fall season (2017–18 school year).
- 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 Northeast Conference, VMI was a member of the Big South. In 2014, they became full members of the Southern Conference (SoCon). In swimming, the Keydets left the NEC to join the league now known as the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, and have competed in the America East Conference since the 2017–18 school year.
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 changes to the NEC sports lineup came in 2022 with the addition of men's volleyball and the elimination of men's lacrosse.
|Swimming & Diving||4||9|
|Track and Field (Indoor)||8||9|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)||8||9|
Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Football||Golf||Soccer||Swimming & Diving||Tennis||Track & Field
|Track & Field
|St. Francis Brooklyn||N||N||N||N||7|
|Saint Francis (PA)||N||N||9|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Northeast Conference which are played by NEC schools:
|School||Fencing[a]||Ice Hockey||Lacrosse||Water Polo||Wrestling|
|Sacred Heart||NEIFC||Atlantic Hockey||MAAC||—||EIWA|
|St. Francis Brooklyn||—||—||–||CWPA||—|
- 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 LIU and Sacred Heart field both men's and women's squads, though Wagner will add a men's squad in 2023–24.
- LIU added men's ice hockey in 2020. It has yet to join a conference in that sport, but has entered into a scheduling partnership with Atlantic Hockey.
Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Field Hockey||Golf||Lacrosse||Soccer||Softball||Swimming & Diving||Tennis||Track & Field
|Track & Field
|St. Francis Brooklyn||N||N||N||10|
|Saint Francis (PA)||N||12|
|Mount St. Mary's||1|
- Delaware State will add women's lacrosse and women's soccer to its NEC membership in 2023–24.
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|
|St. Francis Brooklyn||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||MAAC|
|Saint Francis (PA)||—||-||—||—||—||—||—||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, LIU and Sacred Heart have both men's and women's squads (with LIU having added men's fencing in 2022–23), and Fairleigh Dickinson and Wagner field only women's squads. Wagner will add a men's squad to its existing women's squad in 2023–24.
- Merrimack has not yet announced a women's rowing affiliation.
- 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 rugby 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|
|2021||Wagner (13–5)||Mount St. Mary's|
|2022||Bryant (16–2)||Bryant (16–2)|
- 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
- 2020 - Sacred Heart
- 2021 - Sacred Heart
Most conference championshipsEdit
- 6 – Albany (3 shared)
- 6 – Robert Morris (3 shared)
- 6 – Central Connecticut (3 shared)
- 5 – Sacred Heart (3 shared)
- 5 – Duquesne (4 shared)
- 5 – Monmouth (4 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
- Constitution State Rivalry: Central Connecticut vs. Sacred Heart
- 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: Saint Francis (PA) vs. Robert Morris (non-conference since 2020–21)
- NY–MD Showdown: Wagner vs. Mount St. Mary's (non-conference since 2022–23)
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.
- "Bryant University to Join America East Conference as Newest Member Institution" (Press release). America East Conference. March 29, 2022. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "MAAC Welcomes Mount St. Mary's University as Newest Member Institution" (Press release). Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. May 2, 2022. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
- "Stonehill Announces Transition to NCAA Division I for 2022-23 Academic Year" (Press release). Stonehill Skyhawks. April 5, 2022. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
- "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.
- "Northeast Conference Announces Men's Volleyball as 25th Championship Sport" (Press release). Northeast Conference. September 30, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
- "NEC Welcomes Daemen & D'Youville as Men's Volleyball Associate Members" (Press release). Northeast Conference. May 19, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
- "Atlantic 10 Conference Adds Men's Lacrosse as 22nd Championship Sport" (Press release). Atlantic 10 Conference !date=May 23, 2022. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
- DaSilva, Matt (May 9, 2022). "NEC Won't Sponsor Men's Lacrosse in 2023; MAAC Absorbs Three Teams". USA Lacrosse Magazine. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
- "Merrimack Added as Associate Member in Men's Lacrosse" (Press release). America East Conference. July 20, 2022. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
- "NEC & MEAC Announce Three-Sport Associate Member Partnership". Northeast Conference (Press release). July 12, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
- "Delaware State To Extend NEC Associate Membership Partnership to Women's Soccer & Women's Lacrosse" (Press release). Northeast Conference. September 27, 2022. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
- "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".
- "Men's Hockey Announced as Atlantic Hockey Scheduling Partner" (Press release). LIU Sharks. October 15, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.