Central Islip, N.Y. - The University of the District of Columbia will join the East Coast Conference as a full-time member beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year, Dr. Edward Guiliano, Chair of the East Coast Conference President’s Council announced today.
“We’re pleased to welcome the University of the District of Columbia into the East Coast Conference,” said Dr. Guiliano, President of New York Institute of Technology, on behalf of the ECC Council of Presidents. “UDC has displayed its dedication to building a well-run, competitive collegiate athletic program. The ECC is committed to providing opportunities for the overall development of our student-athletes as they compete in a growing, successful athletic conference and we feel strongly that UDC will support this mission.”
The addition of the University of the District of Columbia marks the first expansion by the East Coast Conference since 2002. The ECC members agreed that the nation’s capital offers great educational and cultural opportunities for the institutions and student-athletes, as well as enhancing new athletic and recruiting options.
The University of the District of Columbia Firebirds, currently an NCAA Division II Independent, have been associate members of the East Coast Conference in men’s and women’s tennis since 2009. The Firebirds will compete in six other ECC-sponsored sports including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s soccer, and volleyball. The University of the District of Columbia also fields varsity women’s indoor and outdoor track teams.
“We are truly excited about this announcement, both for the East Coast Conference and its student-athletes, as well as for UDC,” said ECC Commissioner Dr. Robert Dranoff. “We have been working with UDC Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Patricia Thomas for many months on this idea and believe that we have done a thorough job of getting to know UDC. Patricia has done a tremendous job on developing all aspects of the athletic program and we feel UDC will fit well with our institutions.”
"Becoming a full member of the outstanding East Coast Conference is a milestone,” said Patricia Thomas. “The Conference's mission reflects our core values. ECC membership provides many opportunities that significantly enrich the student-athlete experience and we are proud to take this step."
UDC President Dr. Allen L. Sessoms echoed Thomas’ sentiments saying, "I am thrilled that our Firebirds are now officially associated with such a well-regarded conference. I look forward to a great relationship with the ECC and the fine teams competing in it."
The addition of the University of the District of Columbia brings full-time membership in the ECC to nine institutions. Other full members include the University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Conn.), C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University (Brookville, N.Y.), Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.), Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.), Molloy College (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury, N.Y.), Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.), and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.).
About the ECC
Founded as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1989
and rechristened the East Coast Conference in July 2006, the ECC
was formed to enhance intercollegiate athletic competition among
member institutions and to assist them in integrating athletics
into their academic program in a fiscally sound way. The ECC is
committed to the highest standards of scholarship, sportsmanship,
teamwork, and citizenship. Its mission is to promote the total
person concept in its student-athletes, which stresses the
abilities to excel in academic achievement, athletic competition,
and positive character traits. East Coast Conference members
include: University of Bridgeport (Conn.); C.W. Post Campus of Long
Island University (Brookville, N.Y.); University of the District of
Columbia (Washington, D.C.); Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.); Mercy
College (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.); Molloy College (Rockville Centre,
N.Y.); New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury, N.Y.);
Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.); and St. Thomas Aquinas College
(Sparkill, N.Y.). Associate Members include: Chestnut Hill College
(Philadelphia, Pa.); Dominican College (Orangeburg, N.Y.); Lake
Erie College (Painesville, Ohio); Mercyhurst University (Erie,
Pa.); Seton Hill University (Greensburg, Pa.); Wheeling Jesuit
University (Wheeling, W. Va.).
The ECC sponsors the following championship sports: baseball; men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s cross country; men’s and women’s lacrosse; softball; men’s and women’s tennis; men’s and women’s soccer; and women’s volleyball.
The East Coast Conference is a proud member of the NCAA and Division II. Division II is a dynamic and engaging group of colleges, institutions and conferences of varying sizes and educational missions. Division II members encourage and support diversity; value sportsmanship, fairness and equity; and place the highest priority on the overall educational excellence of the student-athlete.