The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) is pleased to announce the addition of Alfred State College and Dean College as members beginning with the 2017 season.
Alfred State is a provisional member of Division III, transitioning from junor college ranks and following the path set forth by the NCAA for full membership status. Dean will begin its exploratory year in the same process during the 2016-17 academic year.
"We are thrilled to welcome Alfred State and Dean to the ECFC after unanimous approval from the conference presidents and athletic directors," Chair of the ECFC Athletic Directors Council Matt Burke said. "The addition of these two programs helps the ECFC continue to be a competitive football conference with institutions committed to providing a high quality student-athlete experience."
The additions coincide with the departures of Becker College, which will join the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and Norwich University, which joins the New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference for the 2017 season.
Alfred State has competed with ECFC members Castleton and Husson in previous seasons, and is slated to square off with Dean and Husson in 2016. "I want to thank the membership of the ECFC for their due diligence in this process," said Dr. Kelly Higgins, athletic director at Alfred State. "The ECFC is a great fit for us competitively; it gives our student-athletes an immediate opportunity to be recognized for their athletic, academic, and personal achievements on the conference level, and gives our team the opportunity to participate in NCAA Championships."
Dean is slated to take on Alfred State as well as Husson in 2016. "Being accepted into a conference is a big step for the program and the college", said Dean Athletic Director Todd Vasey. "It stabilizes our schedule each year and creates some immediate rivalries in the region."
The ECFC will maintain its automatic qualifier to the NCAA National Tournament, granted to the conference champion each season.
The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference was formed in the spring of 2009 as an NCAA Division III single sport football conference. The conference, named after the geographic location of the institutions began competition in the fall of 2009.
Founding members were Anna Maria College (Worcester, Mass.), Becker College (Leicester, Mass.), Castleton University (Castleton, Vt.), Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.), Husson University (Bangor, Maine), Maritime College State University of New York (Throggs Neck, N.Y.), Mount Ida College (Newton, Mass.), and Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.). Alfred State College (Alfred, N.Y.), and Dean College (Franklin, Mass.) will join in 2017, filling the void made by the departures of Becker and Norwich.