|Regis will leave the NECC and move to the GNAC at the start of the 2017-18 season.|
Former Commonwealth Coast Conference members Regis (Mass.) and Colby-Sawyer will reunite in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in 2017-18. The GNAC announced the schools will join in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh announced the schools have accepted invitations to join the Conference as full-time members. Starting in 2018-19 the GNAC will have 12 programs for men's basketball and 14 for women's basketball.
“Colby-Sawyer and Regis both have a track record of commitment to the GNAC’s core values and are like-minded academically, athletically and geographically with our current member institutions,” said Walsh in a release. “Throughout the application process, it was clear that these two institutions are very much committed to their athletic programs, student-athletes and coaching staffs.”
Regis (Mass.) will make the jump first, leaving the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) after the upcoming 2016-17 season. The Pride won six conference titles in the NECC last season, including women's basketball, and the Regis women's programs have won the NECC Champions' Cup five consecutive years. The Pride men won the Cup in 2015 and finished second last season.
Colby-Sawyer will join the GNAC one season later, at the start of the 2018-19 academic year. The Chargers won seven conference titles in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) last season.
"We are excited to join the GNAC in 2018 as the next step for Colby-Sawyer after what will have been seven wonderful years in the North Atlantic Conference,” said President Thomas C. Galligan, Jr. “The GNAC is a group of private colleges like us located in areas many of our students call home. Joining the conference will provide fantastic competitive opportunities while easing travel burdens for our student-athletes and their families."
Colby-Sawyer and Regis are two of four programs that left the CCC in 2011. New England College went to the NAC with Colby-Sawyer while Anna Maria joined the GNAC.