NEFC announces league restructuring for 2013 season
Rob Palardy, Sports Information Director
FITCHBURG, Mass. – New England Football
Conference Commissioner Sue Lauder has announced a restructuring of
the Conference that will take place prior to the 2013 season. The
NEFC, founded in 1965 by Bridgewater State College, Curry College,
and Maine Maritime Academy, will function as an eight team league
and will retain the NEFC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III
Championship Tournament. The realigned NEFC will consist of
Curry College, Endicott College, Maine Maritime Academy, MIT,
Nichols College, Salve Regina University, the U.S. Coast Guard
Academy, and Western New England University.
Institutions that are currently members of the multi-sport Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University) will compete in a newly formed MASCAC football league. Plymouth State University and UMass Dartmouth, two schools that have a playing relationship with the MASCAC through an affiliation agreement between the MASCAC and the Little East Conference, will also join the new league.
“It's been an honor to have been a member of the NEFC and to work with the quality student athletes, coaches and administrators at all of the NEFC institutions,” said Lauder who is also the Director of Athletics at Fitchburg. “I wish the conference continued success and look forward to maintaining relationships with NEFC members.”
The NEFC, with 16 members divided into two divisions, is the largest Division III football conference in the nation. The Conference's championship game between the winners of the two divisions is also unique among Division III football.
“I believe this is good for all teams in both the NEFC and the MASCAC,” said Endicott head coach JB Wells. “This restructuring should allow us to set our sights on winning a conference championship in the regular season then focus on being a competitive in the NCAA Tournament.”
Dating back to 2003, the first season of varsity competition for Endicott, eight of the nine conference champions have been from one of the remaining institutions in the newly restructured NEFC. Historically, Endicott holds a 31-16 record against Curry, Maine Maritime, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina and Western New England and a 10-1 mark over the past two seasons. The Gulls have never faced Coast Guard in their nine-year history.
The Blue and Green earned their first ever NEFC title in 2010 which led to an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Behind strong leadership and immense skill from their senior class, the Gulls followed up their record-breaking 2010 campaign with an even more impressive season in 2011. All-time records across offense, defense and special teams resulted in a program-best 11 wins and an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) North Atlantic Bowl victory over Mount Ida, 31-22.
Includes contributions from NEFC Release