“We're delighted to welcome Springfield College as an associate member in the sport of football into the Liberty League,” said McLaughlin. “We look forward to the participation and contribution of Springfield College for many years to come and we're excited to be increasing our presence in the New England area.”
Springfield College will join Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the United States Merchant Marine Academy as associate members of the Liberty League in the sport of football. Full members Hobart College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Rochester, St. Lawrence University, and Union College comprise the remainder of the football playing institutions in the league.
Springfield College, located in Springfield, Mass., offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a number of areas of study including health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. Doctoral degrees are offered in physical education and physical therapy. The College is ranked in the 2010 edition of "America's Best Colleges" in the top tier of "Best Universities -- Master's -- North Region" by the "U.S. News and World Report." More than 5,000 traditional, nontraditional, and international students study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its School of Human Services campuses in 11 U.S. locations.
“Springfield College football is pleased to accept the invitation extended it by the Liberty League to join as an associate member in 2012,” said Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn. “The Liberty League is a highly-competitive conference comprised of outstanding academic and athletic institutions. It also allows us a well-balanced home and away schedule. We look forward to becoming a part of this conference.”
“Springfield College is looking forward to building and rekindling relationships with such quality schools as those found within the Liberty League,” added Director of Athletics Cathie Schweitzer. “This move makes sense from a geographical and economic standpoint for Springfield College, and should benefit many of our constituencies, including fans, students, families, and friends of the football program.”
Head Football Coach Mike DeLong noted “Our football program is excited about the opportunity to compete in the Liberty League. The chance to compete in such a highly-regarded conference, and on more of a regional basis, should certainly benefit everyone involved with Springfield College football.”
A member conference of the NCAA’s Division III, The Liberty League has nine full members and sponsors championships in 24 sports. The member institutions of the league place the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of its student-athletes’ academic programs. The member institutions seek to establish and maintain an environment in which a student-athlete’s athletic activities are conducted as an integral part of the educational experience.
Originally founded as the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association in 1995, the conference was renamed the Liberty League during the summer of 2004. The league includes founding members Clarkson University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College. Vassar College became a full member of the league during the 2000-01 academic year. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is an associate member in the sports of football and men’s golf, while Worcester Polytechnic Institute is an associate member in football only. Beginning with the 2011-12 academic year Bard College and Rochester Institute of Technology will join the league as full members, while Hamilton College will depart in order to fully integrate its athletic programs within the New England Small College Athletic Conference.