Cobleskill, NY – SUNY Cobleskill has announced that the College will be entering the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) as a fulltime member effective July 1, 2020. SUNY Cobleskill Fighting Tiger Athletics will compete in 13 NAC sports beginning in 2020-2021, including Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Soccer, Cross Country, and Outdoor Track and Field. The Fighting Tigers are currently members of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC).
“We are proud to join the NAC, and to continue to provide our student athletes with opportunities to compete at the highest levels,” says College President Marion A. Terenzio. “We are committed to identifying ways in which all members of our campus community can elevate themselves and their performance. We are confident this move achieves that for our student-athletes, and Fighting Tiger Athletics.”
SUNY Cobleskill entered the NCAA in 2008, and became a full NCAA Division III institution in 2012. The Fighting Tigers have earned 20 conference championships in that time. In Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Swimming and Diving, and Softball, the Fighting Tigers sent teams to postseason competition in all three NCAA seasons in 2018-2019. Men’s Swimming and Diving won the NEAC for the third consecutive year. For the first time in program history, a Fighting Tiger was named Female Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Member of the Year when Kat Vahsen earned the honor.
“We are confident that the philosophy of the North Atlantic Conference aligns with that of our College, Department of Athletics, and, most importantly, our student-athletes,” says Vice President for Development Dr. Anne Hopkins Gross. “We are appreciative of our years of participation in the NEAC, and look forward to entering competition in the NAC.”
SUNY Cobleskill Director of Athletics Marie Curran-Headley says joining the NAC will better align geographically with the student population in Eastern New York and New England. She says the NAC’s divisional scheduling model projects to reduce in-season travel time for teams, and enhance opportunities for student-athletes to compete and qualify for NCAA Championships. SUNY Cobleskill student-athletes, including Zach Haskin ’19 and Kevon Boucaud ’22, qualified for the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships this year.
“This was a difficult decision, and one that required deep consideration,” says Curran-Headley. “As our first conference upon transitioning to the NCAA, the NEAC afforded us an opportunity for competition at the highest level. However, as we move forward, we believe the NAC allows us to continue competing at the highest level against institutions of similar academic mission, while greatly reducing travel costs and the amount of time our scholar-athletes have to be on the road.”
The Fighting Tigers currently support 20 varsity teams, with 18 competing in the NCAA. SUNY Cobleskill Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving, Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field, and Women’s Golf are NCAA teams that do not intend to compete in the NAC in 2020-2021. The College’s Hunt Seat and Western Equestrian teams will continue as members of the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA).
The NAC has issued a release on behalf of the conference. The announcement is available here.
This release was initially issued by SUNY Cobleskill, 08/20/19