CLEVELAND, OHIO – DePauw University of Greencastle, Indiana, has accepted a unanimous invitation to join the North Coast Athletic Conference.
The NCAC was founded in 1983 based upon the principles of a strong commitment to equality for women, a firm belief in a broad-based athletic program as part of an institutions’ greater academic mission and a reliance on presidential leadership. With the addition of women’s golf for the 2010-11 season, the NCAC will sponsor 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.
DePauw will begin NCAC competition in 2011-12 in all sports with the exception of football, which, due to existing contracts, will begin play in 2012.
“The North Coast Athletic Conference is home to many of the most outstanding undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the lower Great Lakes states. We are as proud that all members host chapters of Phi Beta Kappa as we are of the high level of athletic competition that makes the NCAC one of the leading conferences in NCAA Division III,” said Dale Knobel, president of Denison University and president of the NCAC. “DePauw University already partners with other NCAC colleges in a variety of academic activities. It just seems natural that DePauw’s student-athletes should now join their peers and friends of the NCAC on the playing field.”
The expansion brings the core NCAC membership to 10 NCAA Division III institutions stretching from Pennsylvania through Ohio to Indiana. DePauw joins Allegheny College (Meadville, Pa.), Denison University (Granville, Oh.), Hiram College (Hiram, Oh.), Kenyon College (Gambier, Oh.), Oberlin College (Oberlin, Oh.), Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, Oh.), Wabash College (Crawfordsville, In.), Wittenberg University (Springfield, Oh.) and the College of Wooster (Wooster, Oh.).
This addition provides permanent quality opponents for North Coast athletic teams and moving back to a 10-team core conference will help the NCAC retain its position in a region composed of conferences of similar or larger size.
Founded in 1837, DePauw is a private, selective, coeducational, residential, undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and School of Music with an enrollment of 2,349. More than one out of every five students is a member of an intercollegiate team and the Athletic Department strives to enhance the total educational experience of each student-athlete. The Tigers compete in 21 sports and have won five consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference all-sports trophies, including the 2009-10 award, and six in their 12 years of SCAC competition. Prior to membership in the SCAC, DePauw was a founding member of the now-defunct Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“The move to the NCAC aligns DePauw with strong institutions with a similar focus on academic excellence and the overall development of the student with fewer strains on both schedules and budgets,” explained DePauw President Brian Casey.
Allegheny, Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster are charter North Coast members. Wittenberg joined in 1988-89; Hiram and Wabash followed in 1999-00. Charter member Case Western Reserve University relinquished NCAC membership in 1998-99; Earlham College, which joined the league in 1988 with Wittenberg, will begin participating in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference on a full-time basis this coming fall, but will be an affiliate North Coast member in field hockey.