Starting in the 2023-2024 academic year, Mitchell College will be a core member — one of 16 schools — of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The move comes after Mitchell’s current conference, the New England Collegiate Conference, will cease to be an NCAA Division III Athletic Conference, as of Fall 2023.
The larger conference provides Mitchell’s 12 varsity sports – baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and women’s volleyball – the opportunity for all programs to compete in the NCAA tournament should they win the conference tournament.
Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, Mitchell College president, said, “Mitchell College is honored to have been invited to join the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Being part of the GNAC is a huge win for our coaches, students and the institution as a whole. We look forward to being in great company with the other GNAC institutions of excellence.”
New England College is also joining the GNAC next fall. Other member institutions include Albertus Magnus College, Anna Maria College, Colby-Sawyer College, Dean College, Elms College, Emmanuel College, Johnson & Wales University, Lasell University, Norwich University, Regis College, Rivier University, University of Saint Joseph, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and Simmons University.
“The addition of Mitchell and New England College will provide continued stability to our current 22 championship offerings, and possibly allow for more GNAC championship opportunities in the future,” said Joe Walsh, commissioner of the GNAC. “The geographical location of the two schools also allows our administrators to discuss further divisional play options, while it also helps reduce student-athlete missed class time academically.”
Matt Finlayson, Mitchell College director of athletics, said, “The GNAC is a wonderful fit for us that will have a positive impact for all of our student-athletes and programs. Becoming a member of the GNAC provides us with an opportunity to continue to grow and enhance athletics. It’s regionally located and is comprised of members that we can compete with while sharing similar institutional values. We are excited and looking forward to the future in the GNAC.”