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New England Small College Athletic Conference: Wikis


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New England Small College Athletic Conference
Classification NCAA Division III
Established 1971
Members 11
Sports fielded 27 (13 men's, 14 women's)
Region New England
States 5 - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,
New York, Vermont
Headquarters Hadley, Massachusetts
Commissioner Andrea Savage

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is an athletic conference consisting of eleven highly selective liberal arts colleges located in New England and New York. Most of the colleges have been competing against each other since the 1800s. The colleges in this conference are often referred to as the "Little Ivies".

According to the NESCAC, "The formation of NESCAC originated with an agreement among Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Wesleyan University and Williams College first drafted in 1955. Along with these four institutions, Bates College, Colby College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College and Tufts University are sustaining charter members. Connecticut College was added in 1982, bringing the Conference's membership to its current total of 11 institutions."



The league currently has 11 full members:

Institution Location Team Name Founded Founding Religious Affiliation Enrollment
Amherst College Amherst, Massachusetts Lord Jeffs 1821 Congregationalist 1,697
Bates College Lewiston, Maine Bobcats 1855 Free Will Baptist 1,776
Bowdoin College Brunswick, Maine Polar Bears 1794 Congregationalist 1,773
Colby College Waterville, Maine White Mules 1813 Northern Baptist 1,846
Connecticut College New London, Connecticut Camels 1911 Methodist 1,910
Hamilton College Clinton, New York Continentals 1793 Presbyterian 1,780
Middlebury College Middlebury, Vermont Panthers 1800 Congregationalist 2,406
Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Bantams 1823 Episcopalian 2,188
Tufts University Medford, Massachusetts Jumbos 1852 Universalist 5,016
Wesleyan University Middletown, Connecticut Cardinals 1831 Methodist 2,766
Williams College Williamstown, Massachusetts Ephs 1793 Congregationalist 2,137

Conference championships

The NESCAC holds conference championships in

NCAA Division III competition

Prior to 1993, NESCAC generally did not allow its member schools to send teams to NCAA championships. Since then, all sports except football have had this freedom, and have excelled in the NCAA Division III championships. For example, the Division III NACDA Director's Cup, awarded since 1996 to the college or university that wins the most college championships, has been awarded to Williams College every year except 1998.

In addition to the ban on post-season play, the football league is notable for being completely isolated from the rest of Division III play—each team in the NESCAC plays only other teams in the NESCAC. While some Division II and Division III teams play only conference schedules, the NESCAC is unique that all of its members choose to play only conference games. [1]

Middlebury College leads the conference in total number of National Championships, having won 27 individual titles since the NESCAC lifted its ban on NCAA play. Williams College is second, having won 14 in sports including Men's Basketball (1), Men's Soccer (1), Men's and Women's Tennis (3, 2), Men's and Women's Cross Country (2, 2), Women's Crew (2), and Women's Indoor Track & Field (1). Tufts University, holds the distinction of playing the first game of college football between two American colleges, a contest between Tufts and Harvard University on June 4, 1875 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and played its second game in 1875 against Bates College in the first intercollegiate football game in Maine.

Conference venues

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Amherst Pratt Field 8,000 LeFrak Gymnasium 2,450
Bates Garcelon Field 3,000 Alumni Gymnasium 750
Bowdoin Whittier Field 9,000 Morrell Gymnasium 2,000
Colby Harold Alfond Stadium 5,000 Wadsworth Gymnasium 2,500
Connecticut Non-football school N/A Luce Fieldhouse 800
Hamilton Steuben Field 2,500 Margaret Bundy Scott Field House 2,500
Middlebury Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium 3,500 Pepin Gymnasium 1,200
Trinity Jessee/Miller Field 6,500 Oosting Gym 2,000
Tufts Ellis Oval 6,000 Cousens Gym 1,000
Wesleyan Andrus Field 5,000 Silloway Gymnasium 1,200
Williams Weston Field 10,000 Chandler Gymnasium 2,900

Athletic spending

The U. S. Department of Education publishes statistics on athletic spending by colleges[1]. In 2004-05, athletic spending by NESCAC schools was as follows:

School Athletic Spending Div III rank Amount per Student Div III rank
Amherst $3,004,696 #16 $1,832 #7
Bates $3,150,992 #14 $1,808 #8
Bowdoin $3,710,200 #7 $2,212 #4
Colby $2,181,256 #44 $1,198 #38
Connecticut $1,610,230 #105 $847 #91
Hamilton $1,855,184 #65 $1,035 #60
Middlebury $4,028,115 #4 $1,709 #11
Trinity $2,893,037 #19 $1,210 #36
Tufts $2,397,536 #31 $489 #164
Wesleyan $3,079,274 #15 $1,140 #47
Williams $5,697,753 #2 $2,779 #1

In Division III, Williams College athletic spending is second only to Christopher Newport University, which spends 2% more than Williams but has more than twice as many students. Connecticut College athletic spending is unusually low because it does not have a football team. Tufts per-student athletic spending is low because it has nearly double the undergraduate population (5,000) of its nearest NESCAC rival (Wesleyan, with 2,700).

Related athletic conferences

Amherst, Wesleyan, and Williams are also the members of the Little Three conference. Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby are also the members of the CBB conference. Hamilton is also a member of the Liberty League, but will join NESCAC as a full member beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year.


Bill Belichick, head coach of 3 Super Bowl winning New England Patriots teams, and Eric Mangini, current head coach of the Cleveland Browns, former defensive coordinator for the Patriots and former head coach of the New York Jets, both hail from NESCAC member school Wesleyan University. Jed Hoyer, the Executive Vice President/General Manager of the San Diego Padres, also graduated from Wesleyan.

Professional hockey player Guy Hebert graduated from NESCAC member school Hamilton College in 1989. During his NHL career he tended goal for the St. Louis Blues, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and New York Rangers. In addition to his NHL career, Hebert also was selected to the 1998 Olympic hockey team that represented the United States in Nagano, Japan.

Professional football player Ethan Brooks graduated from Williams College in 1996. He was an offensive tackle for a number of teams until his retirement in 2005, and achieved his greatest success as a starter for the Baltimore Ravens.

Eric DeCosta, the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens, attended Colby College, where he was the captain of the football team during his senior year and later received a M.A. from Trinity College (Connecticut), where he coached football from 1993 to 1995. He was recently named one of the most powerful people in sports under the age of 35 by The Sporting News.

Continuing the Baltimore Ravens connection, current Ravens kicker Steven Hauschka graduated from Middlebury College in 2007.

Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith graduated from Hamilton College in 1980.

External links


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