WATERVILLE, Me. (December 3, 2018) – SUNY Delhi Director of Athletics Bob Backus has announced that the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) has accepted the institution as full-time members, beginning with the 2019-20 season. The Broncos are currently associate members with the NAC for six sports, and will bring along men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball as part of next year's membership.
"We are thrilled to welcome SUNY Delhi to the NAC as a full member," said NAC President's Council Chair, Dr. Elaine Collins of Northern Vermont University. "We were impressed with their academic programs and commitment to providing an exceptional scholar athlete experience, and we believe Delhi will be a great addition to our growing conference."
"SUNY Delhi prides itself on providing our students with outstanding opportunities to reach their potential in all areas," said SUNY Delhi President Dr. Michael Laliberte. "The acceptance into the NAC will provide an exciting step forward for our athletic department and student athletes."
SUNY Delhi is currently associate members in the NAC in men's golf, men's lacrosse, men's tennis and men's and women's track and field, with women's tennis having been slated to join, as well, for the fall of 2019. Starting next year, the NAC will serve as the home for 11 of the college's intercollegiate programs. In addition, men's and women's basketball and women's softball will remain affiliated in the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) through 2019-20, and will make the move to the NAC for 2020-21.
"On behalf of SUNY Delhi, we want to thank Commissioner Zalot and the entire North Atlantic Conference membership on accepting SUNY Delhi's application," said Director of Athletics Bob Backus. "The Broncos eagerly look forward to this new chapter of our NCAA Division III athletic history."
SUNY Delhi just wrapped up a successful fall season, which included men's golf finishing second in their first-ever NAC Championships in October, and sophomore Danny Christy winning the NAC individual title. Christy went on to be named the NAC's Golfer of the Year, as head coach Dave Arehart was honored as the league's Coach of the Year. Men's golf also placed second at the USCAA National Championships, while women's golfer Alison Agoglia finished first to take the national individual title.
Both cross country programs won the ACAA Championship, followed by the men winning their third straight USCAA National Championship and the women placing third, their highest-ever placement at USCAA's. Men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball all competed at the ACAA Tournament, with the men's soccer team reaching the league finals and women's volleyball serving as tournament hosts. Women's soccer head coach Lauren Mackay and cross country head coach Robb Munro were named USCAA Coach of the Year, and along with men's soccer head coach Brian Mitko, all were honored ACAA Coach of the Year.
The Broncos are midway through their first official year as a provisional NCAA Division III members after successfully completing an exploratory partnership in 2017-18. This allows SUNY Delhi to operate and brand as a Division III school while continuing to meet operational benchmarks for full-time membership as early as 2021-22. During the provisional process, the Broncos are eligible to compete for NAC conference championships and will become eligible for NCAA national championships once becoming a full member institution.
"I am excited to welcome SUNY Delhi as a full member of the NAC," said Commissioner Marcella Zalot. "It has been wonderful to learn about their institution, and to work with Delhi's leadership through their affiliation as an associate member and through the full membership application process. The institution aligns nicely with the NAC's mission and core values and is a great fit with our conference. I want to thank President Dr. Michael Laliberte and Athletic Director Bob Backus in particular, for all their work leading up to this point."
"It became abundantly clear over the last year that Delhi is a quality institution with quality people," Zalot continued. "I am thrilled to welcome the Delhi coaches and staff to the conference and look forward to working with them. I am certain SUNY Delhi will make the NAC stronger."
About the North Atlantic Conference
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 17 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, field hockey, 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.