Merrimack College has accepted an invitation to join the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), as announced today by MAAC Commissioner Travis Tellitocci. This move provides the opportunity for Merrimack student-athletes to continue pursuing excellence at the highest levels nationally, both in the classroom and in competition, which is a core priority for the College.
Merrimack, located in North Andover, Massachusetts, will join the MAAC beginning with the 2024-25 season. Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, joins Merrimack in accepting an invitation from the MAAC.
“This is a significant and exciting day for the MAAC as we welcome two outstanding institutions to our conference,” said MAAC Commissioner Travis Tellitocci. “The addition of both schools extends our presence in major metropolitan areas, elevates our brand and enriches our conference. We are proud to welcome the Merrimack and Sacred Heart student-athletes, coaches, administrators, alumni and fans to the MAAC.”
“Merrimack College and Sacred Heart are two institutions that share our emphasis on the overall well-being of our student-athletes,” said MAAC President and Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian. “We’re a conference that has always prided itself on the academic focus of our student-athletes, their character, alongside their athletic distinctions. All of us in the MAAC are enthusiastic to expand the conference with these two schools as they share our values and commitment to the academic, athletic and personal growth of our students.”
“Merrimack College’s strategic plan, the Agenda for Future, guides our institution’s ambition as a nationally-recognized Catholic research university and calls for excellence in academics, research and athletics,” said Merrimack College President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. “We are pleased that our record of achievement and growth has resulted in this invitation to compete in the MAAC and partner with its outstanding member institutions whose values of academic integrity, athletic achievement, inclusive excellence and community engagement align with our Catholic Augustinian mission. I want to thank the MAAC Council of Presidents for its support and confidence in Merrimack.”
Merrimack’s Director of Athletics, Jeremy Gibson, also expressed his excitement.
“The entire Merrimack community is thrilled for the opportunity to join the MAAC,” Gibson stated. “I am grateful to the MAAC Council of Presidents and Commissioner Travis Tellitocci for inviting us to join the MAAC. We are privileged to be joining a group of outstanding colleges and universities that share Merrimack’s commitment to aligning student-athlete welfare with academic and athletic success. Our ascension in Division I athletics has been rapid and we are eager to build upon our momentum as a member of the MAAC.”
The move to the MAAC will allow for greater national exposure, enhanced regional recognition and expanded recruiting opportunities, furthering the College’s ability to compete at the highest level of the NCAA. The MAAC will give the over 700 Merrimack student-athletes and coaches the opportunity to compete with some of the finest colleges and universities in the Northeast. This move will help enhance Merrimack’s future, not just on the athletic stage but as a nationally recognized Catholic research university.
Merrimack currently sponsors a robust athletic program with 28 varsity sports, fielding 12 men’s and 16 women’s sports teams.
Joining the MAAC will be particularly beneficial for Merrimack’s basketball programs. Since the move to Division I, men’s and women’s basketball have established themselves as two of the top programs in the region. Merrimack will be joining a conference known for great basketball teams and competitions.
Merrimack joins current MAAC member institutions which are strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics. The MAAC’s current full members are Canisius University, Fairfield University, Iona University, Manhattan College, Marist College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University and Siena College.