|Bryn Athyn file photo|
The Colonial States Athletic Conference Board of Directors has confirmed the acceptance of Bryn Athyn and Wilson as full members of the conference, effective July 1, 2018. The two will begin competition as members of the CSAC beginning in the 2018-19 academic year along with Cairn, Cedar Crest, Centenary (N.J.), Clarks Summit, Keystone, Notre Dame (Md.) and Rosemont.
Cabrini, Gwynedd Mercy, Immaculata, Neumann and Marywood are leaving the CSAC at that time, to form a new conference along with Marymount and Wesley. Arcadia's participation, already reported, is still pending the ratification of a new president.
“I am very excited to welcome Bryn Athyn College and Wilson College into the Colonial States Athletic Conference,” said David Haney, Centenary University president and chair of the CSAC board of directors. “I know from speaking to the presidents of both institutions and from the results of the application process that they are firmly committed to CSAC’s emphasis on the holistic development of the Division III student-athlete. They also share the student-centered mission of the other CSAC institutions.”
Both schools are currently member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference. Bryn Athyn is entering its first full year as an active member of NCAA Division III in the fall of 2017. Wilson, formerly members of the Atlantic Women's College Conference, will be in its fourth season offering men's sports this fall.
Bryn Athyn and Wilson will be the first new core members of the CSAC since 2008 when Clarks Summit (then Baptist Bible), Keystone and Cairn (then Philadelphia Bible) became full members. The announcement culminates the first phase of a reorganization of the conference’s membership that will provide an appropriate balance of schools with similar missions and levels of competition.
“The CSAC is pleased to welcome Bryn Athyn and Wilson into the CSAC beginning in 2018-19,” said CSAC commissioner Adrienne Mullikin. “Both institutions align with the CSAC’s core values and mission. Bryn Athyn and Wilson impressed the board of directors with their institutional commitment to athletics and they bring a strong academic profile to an already robust conference.”
Bryn Athyn sponsors 14 intercollegiate varsity programs (seven men’s, seven women’s) at the NCAA Division III level, 13 of which align with current CSAC sponsorships. The Lions will compete in the CSAC in 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, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. “Bryn Athyn is excited to be joining the Colonial States Athletic Conference,” stated Bryn Athyn president Brian Blair. “We are so proud of our athletic department, its staff and all of our student-athletes. We feel participating in the CSAC will be natural fit for our educational mission. This new conference will enable our teams and student-athletes to continue to thrive.”
Wilson sponsors 10 intercollegiate varsity programs (five men’s, five women’s) at the NCAA Division III level, nine of which are CSAC sponsored sports. The Phoenix will compete in the CSAC in baseball (spring 2019), men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and volleyball. Wilson was founded in 1869 as a private liberal arts college for women but transitioned to a fully coeducational institution in 2014. “The CSAC is a great fit for Wilson College,” said Wilson president Barbara K. Mistick. “The conference consists of private colleges that share similar educational philosophies and are located nearby. Most importantly, our move to CSAC will have a positive impact our student-athlete experience — both in competition and in the classroom.”