Merrimack College Moving Up To Division One

by | Sep 14, 2018 | NCAA, News, Paul Baker |

Merrimack College, a small private school located in North Andover, MA, is elevating all of its athletic programs to the NCAA Division I level, the school said Monday.

The school, with an enrollment of 3,500 undergraduate students, accepted an invitation to join the Northeast Conference (NEC) beginning in the fall of 2019.

The Warriors already compete in Division I in men’s and women’s ice hockey in the Hockey East Conference, where each team will stay. The remaining 22 varsity sports offered at the school will transition to the NEC beginning next year.

The school will become a full member in 2023 after a mandatory four-year NCAA reclassification period. Merrimack currently competes in the Northeast-10 Conference at the Division Two level. Highlights of the school’s athletic history include Division Two championships in Men’s Hockey (1978), Women’s Softball (1994) and Men’s Lacrosse (2018). The National College Scouting Association ranks Merrimack fourth in all of Division Two in the Collegiate Power Rankings, which combine success both on the field and in the classroom.

“We are thrilled to welcome Merrimack College to the Northeast Conference family!” Northeast Conference Commissioner Noreen Morris said in a press release. “From the outset it was extremely evident that President [Christopher] Hopey and the entire campus community had a clear vision to elevate the academic and athletic profile of Merrimack College. With increased investment in resources, capital improvements and personnel, that vision has become a reality with Merrimack’s most successful competitive season in 2017-18 and the college’s largest incoming freshman class ever entering in the fall 2018. We are very excited that the NEC will be the future home of the Warriors!”

“Our student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous success academically and athletically,” said Merrimack Athletic Director Jeremy Gibson. “We are thrilled that they will have the opportunity to pursue excellence through membership in the Northeast Conference, and that our entire community will experience the excitement of Division I athletics across all of our program.”

Merrimack will become the fourth New England school in the Northeast Conference, joining Bryant University in Rhode Island and Central Connecticut State University and Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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