Cleveland, Ohio - The Mid-American Conferenced announced today the addition of Longwood University as an affiliate member in field hockey beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.
The addition of Longwood will increase MAC women's field hockey membership to seven members - five from MAC full membership (Ball State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami and Ohio) and two affiliate members (Longwood and Missouri State).
The announcement was made by conference commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, who also welcomed Binghmaton University as an affiliate member of men's tennis.
"I am pleased to welcome Binghamton University as an affiliate member in men's tennis and Longwood University as an affiliate member in field hocking beginning with the 2014-15 academic year," Steinbrecher said. "Both the Binghmanton Bearcats and Longwood Lancers have a wonderful history in men's tennis and women's field hockey, and we welcome them to the Mid-American Conference."
Longwood Field Hockey
The 2014 season will mark the 87th year of the field hockey program's existence at Longwood University. The team owns a 365-341-32 record since 1972, but has yet to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Lancers' lone Division I regular-season title came in 2011, when the team finished 5-1 in the Northern Pacific Field Hockey Conference (NorPac) to claim the top spot in the East Division. A total of 17 Lancers have garnered All-America accolades, but the program is still looking for its first honoree of the Division I era. Head Coach Iain Byers is in his sixth year at the helm of the Longwood squad, guiding the team to a 26-12 NorPac record during his tenure (59-70 overall). In 2012, Stacey de Grandhomme became the program's first Division I NFHCA All-Southeast Region First Team selection.
“The Mid-American Conference is a great fit for our field hockey program,” said Troy Austin, Longwood Director of Athletics. “The league has a long, proud history in all sports and will provide an excellent environment for the field hockey team. I look forward to our squad competing this upcoming season.”
“We are extremely excited to become part of the Mid-American Conference, a prestigious league with a lot of history,” said Iain Byers, Longwood Head Coach. “We would like to thank the coaches, administrators and conference for allowing us to join as an affiliate member, as well as all the Longwood student-athletes past and present for putting us in this position.”
Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 10 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in five states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.