North Atlantic Conference History
Bay Path, Lesley, Lasell, Wheelock, Maine Maritime Academy and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy explore the opportunity to join and form an athletic conference to give women student-athletes an opportunity to compete in a post-season tournament.
The above named institutions work out the details to create an athletic conference to be known as the North Atlantic Women's Conference (NAWC). The steps for a constitution and set bylaws is drafted, championship hosting criteria is established and dates are chosen for a spring softball championship.
The first full academic year for the NAWC brings additional meetings to continue to make policy and procedures more formalized. Championships are to be held in women's soccer, cross-country, basketball and softball.
Basketball holds first NAWC Championship at Lasell College.
Becker, Elms and Mount Ida Colleges are interviewed and accepted for membership starting Fall 1999.
Basketball holds its first NAWC Championship at Maine Maritime Academy.
The NAWC is rebranded as the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) and begins the first season of competition, new members include: Becker, Elms and Mount Ida Colleges. Membership is up to eight institutions. Championships will be conducted for both women and men.
The North Atlantic Conference conducts women's and men's championships for basketball and softball.
The North Atlantic Conference continues to expand postseason championship opportunities for its student-athletes. Two new associate members are added for field hockey: Simmons College and Western New England College.
The North Atlantic Conference begins preliminary discussions with potential new members.
The North Atlantic Conference continues to expand postseason championship opportunities for its student-athletes. Five institutions apply and present to NAC members for admittance to the conference for the Fall 2002 academic year. Two institutions; Castleton State College (VT) and Johnson State College (VT) apply for full member status. Three Maine institutions are seeking associate membership for field hockey: Thomas College, Husson College and UMaine-Farmington. The NAC approves its first major expansion in 2 years, bringing the conference membership to 10 full members and five associate members.
The three Maine institutions with associate membership status continue talks about joining the NAC as full members for the fall of 2003-2004.
The NAC receives confirmation that it will be recognized as a non-voting member of the NCAA Division III. Dr. Carol Matteson of Mount Ida College begins a two-year term at Presidents' Chair of the NAC. The automatic qualifier opportunities for women's sports begins a two year waiting period before being instituted. Three institutions, Thomas, Husson and UMaine-Farmington apply and present for full member consideration in September 2002 for admittance to the NAC for the Fall 2003 academic year. The NAC accepts the three associate members for full NAC membership in Fall 2003. The NAC approves its second major expansion in three years, bringing the conference membership to 13 full members and two associate members.
The North Atlantic Conference continues to expand postseason championship opportunities for its student-athletes. Fall sports teams now compete with championships being expanded to include both full and associate members, increasing the championships sponsored to include: women's volleyball, women's soccer, field hockey, women's cross country, men's soccer and men's cross country.
The NAC members meet at the NCAA Convention to continue to chart the future course for the conference. The members meet in Portsmouth, N.H. for a membership meeting and to set the agenda for the Presidents' Meeting in May. The NAC conducts women's and men's basketball championships. For the second year in a row, the NAC sends a men's team, Lasell College, to the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid. The NAC holds a spring championship for softball, with Elms College winning and receiving an at-large bid to play in the NCAA softball championship. Presidents and Directors of Athletics meet for the first time in NAC history to discuss various issues on the future of the conference in which strategic planning, mission statement, travel and web development are discussed.
Tournament Champions in field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball receive the conference's automatic qualifier to participate in the NCAA Tournament. UMaine-Farmington, which claimed the 2004 NAC Field Hockey Championship, upends Keene State in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Tournament, 3-2 in double overtime on November 10, being the first NAC school to advance past the first round of NCAA championship play.
Elms ends a dominant three-year run by Lasell in the Men's Basketball Championship, upending the top-seeded Lasers 70-66. Maine Maritime earns its third NAC Women's Basketball Championship in seven years with a 65-56 win over intrastate rival UMaine-Farmington. Both victors receive the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Basketball Tournaments for the first time.
Baseball and men's lacrosse both feature for the first time seven teams competing for the NAC Championship and begin the two-year waiting period for automatic qualification into the NCAA Tournament. In baseball, Elms and Husson along with associate member St. Joseph's (ME) compete for the first time in league play, with St. Joseph's taking the 2005 championship. Maine Maritime and Thomas fielded men's lacrosse for the first time ever, and were joined by associate members Daniel Webster and Emerson. Mount Ida continued its dominance in men's lacrosse, going undefeated for the second season in a row and earned the 2005 NAC Tournament Title. UMaine-Farmington claimed the 2005 NAC Softball Championship for the first time in dramatic fashion, winning four-straight games, the final in extra innings over Elms. Julie Muller becomes the commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference on May 1, 2005. Inheriting the title from Mount Ida Athletic Director, Dr. Jacqueline Palmer, Muller became the first person to hold the sole title of commissioner for the 13-member NCAA Division III conference. The NAC begins an extensive evaluation of the conference and plans to initiate its first strategic planning process. Dr. Carol Matteson agrees to extend her term in office as Chair of the NAC Presidents Council for an additional year.
President Dave Wolk of Castleton is elected to the postion of Chair for the Presidents Council, taking over the post from President Carol Matteson of Mount Ida College. St. Joseph's College of Maine earns an at large bid into the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The NAC begins to explore adding football as conference championship sport.
Mount Ida College and Lasell College begin final year of NAC competition as conference full members after withdrawing from the conference as full members. Both are accepted as Associate Members beginning Fall of 2007; Mount Ida for Men's Lacrosse and Lasell for Field Hockey. Western New England College participates in its final year as an associate member in field hockey.
Mount Ida College earns the first NAC automatic qualifier in men's lacrosse. During its last season of competition in NAC baseball, St. Joseph's College earns the first automatic qualifier awarded to the conference in that sport, while Husson College represents the NAC as the automatic qualifier in men's golf. Green Mountain College and Lyndon State College present for full membership consideration during the NAC Annual Meeting in York Harbor, Maine. Both institutions are accepted and will begin competition in the Fall of 2008. St. Joseph's College of Maine is accepted as an associate member for field hockey, beginning competition in fall of 2008. The NAC Presidents Council votes to begin NAC competition in football in the fall of 2009.
Bay Path College, Becker College, Elms College, Lesley University and Wheelock College begin their final year of competition as full conference members after withdrawing from the NAC. Applications for associate membership in football are accepted and under consideration for competition to begin fall of 2009.
Green Mountain College and Lyndon State College join Conference as full members.
The North Atlantic Conference continues to expand postseason championship opportunities for its student-athletes with the addition of women's lacrosse and begin the waiting period for automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament.
Colby Sawyer College and New England College apply for full membership consideration. Both institutions are accepted and will begin competition in the Fall of 2011.
Colby Sawyer College and New England College join Conference as full members.
Castleton earns the NAC's first women's lacrosse automatic qualifier awarded to the conference in that sport with an 18-11 win over Morrisville State. The first NAC Man and Woman of the Year awards are given.
The NAC Presidents Council affirmed its commitment to respect and inclusion by placing their support behind a project aimed at combatting homophobia on campuses and recognizing the benefit of diversity at each of its membership institutions.
Shannon O'Brien becomes the first associate commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference on August 25, 2014, replacing Jeff Weld, who served as the Communications Coordinator for the past three years in a part-time capacity. The 10 membership institutions of the NAC showed their commitment to promoting respect for all by developing a conference-wide You Can Play video project.
The NAC continues to expand the post season championship opportunities for its student-athletes with the addition of women's outdoor track and field. The NAC received national recognition from the NCAA after being selected as the February recipient of the Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative for its work on the You Can Play video project.
The NAC SAAC commits to embracing the It's On Us campaign as a conference wide initiative.
The North Atlantic Conference continues to expand the post season championship opportunities for its student-athletes with the addition of men's outdoor track and field.
Marcella Zalot became the second ever full-time commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference on June 13, 2016. Inheriting the title from Julie Muller, who served as the NAC's first full-time commissioner and retired on June 30, 2016.
Castleton University graduate Rachel Bombardier, the 2015-16 NAC Woman of the Year, was named one of 30 Top Honorees for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Bombardier becomes the first NAC woman to be selected in the final 30 student-athletes throughout the history of the award. UMaine Presque Isle competes as an associate member in the men's and women's NAC cross country championships and in the women's volleyball regular season and postseason.
Castleton, Colby-Sawyer, Green Mountain, and New England College begin their final year of competition as full conference members after withdrawing from the NAC.
State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton and the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) join the conference as full members, effective July 1, 2018.
The NAC announces that the State University of New York (SUNY) at Delhi will join the conference as an associate member in six sports, including men’s and women’s track and field (2018), men's golf, men's lacrosse and men's tennis (2018-19), and women's tennis (2019).
Kate Roy became the second ever full-time associate commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference on August 6, 2018, succeeding Shannon O'Brien, who served as the NAC's first full-time associate commissioner for four years.
The State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton and the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) begin their first year of competition as full conference members. Castleton University joins the NAC as an associate in men's golf, while Lesley University joins the conference in women's tennis. The NAC announces that the State University of New York (SUNY) at Delhi will join the conference as a full member effective for the fall of 2019.
SUNY Delhi becomes a full member of the NAC, sponsoring 12 NAC sports in the first year. Three additional sports are slated for NAC play in the 2020-21 year. Salem State and MCLA are no longer associate members for men's golf.