York (Pa.) latest to leave CAC

York (Pa.) athletics photo

Middle Atlantic Conferences executive committee chair and Misericordia president Thomas Botzman announced the addition of York (Pa.) as the 18th member of the MAC and the 10th member of the MAC Commonwealth beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. York will leave the Capital Athletic Conference following the 2019-20 season.

Last fall, Marymount and Wesley left to help found the Atlantic East Conference. Frostburg State is leaving this fall to move to Division II, while Penn State-Harrisburg will be rejoining the NEAC.

Christopher Newport, Mary Washington, Salisbury, St. Mary's and Southern Virginia remain in the conference for 2020-21 as of this move. By the fall of 2022, the conference will lose automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament in all sports. 

“The MAC colleges and universities look forward to working with and competing against the York College Spartans,” said Botzman. “They are a good match in academics and athletics for our student-athletes.”

"We are excited to join the MAC and compete among the outstanding colleges and universities that are members," said York president Pamela Gunter-Smith. "Membership in the MAC is a great fit for York College and will provide a more regional travel schedule for our teams. As founding members of the Capital Athletic Conference, we are both grateful for and proud of the affiliation we have shared over the past 29 years in the CAC."

York (Pa.) brings 23 varsity sports to the MAC in 2020-21. The Spartans will compete in the MAC and MAC Commonwealth in the following sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field (indoor and outdoor), women’s volleyball and wrestling.

“I am delighted to welcome York College to the MAC (and MAC Commonwealth) effective July 1, 2020,” said Ken Andrews, Executive Director of the MAC. “Their academic and athletic missions mesh with our 17 current members. Furthermore, MAC student-athletes will benefit from the competitive prowess of their teams, exceptional facilities and location. Throughout the entire admission process their administration has impressed us with a commitment to the student-athlete experience, a primary feature of our philosophy and principles. We look forward to a long partnership that will commence with the fall of 2020.”

“I am excited for our entire department," said men's basketball coach Matt Hunter. "It’s a great thing for all our teams to be in a league with automatic bids and for our wrestling team to have a league to compete in. I am excited to be able to develop local rivalries.”

“Though this is a monumental change for York College Athletics, because of geography, I expect our transition to the MAC to be rather natural,” said York athletic director Paul Saikia. “In most of our sports, the MAC has routinely accounted for a number of our non-conference opponents, so there is a great deal of familiarity. As a matter of fact, I believe we will have competed against MAC opponents in every sport except one this year. Of course, every conference is different--I’m not sure how much it will show up on the field of play, but administratively there will be some adjustments, especially when moving from an organization of eight to 18. The bottom line is that we are obligated to provide the best experience we can for our student-athletes, and we believe that membership in the Middle Atlantic Conference is part of that commitment.”

The Spartans depart the CAC having had a successful 29-year run in the league they helped found in 1989. York has captured 33 team championships, 49 Coach of the Year honors, 37 CAC Player of the Year award winners, and 57 Rookie of the Year honorees.

“There are so many positive aspects to this move for us,” said Saikia. “Though it’s not readily apparent to our student-athletes, the greatest of them may be stability. The MAC is a well-established conference with a membership that is bound by commonalities. With that comes the advantages of full conference schedules and automatic NCAA qualifying berths for every team sport. I see the more condensed footprint of the MAC as an opportunity to build rivalries, to provide our fans with more access to see us play when we’re on the road, and to draw larger crowds at home. As we’ve become accustomed to in the CAC, the competition will be excellent and we’re looking forward to growing new alliances that will be mutually beneficial.”