The University of the District of Columbia will join Division II’s East Coast Conference as a full-time member beginning in the 2011-12 academic year.
“The ECC is committed to providing opportunities for the overall development of our student-athletes as they compete in a growing, successful athletics conference, and we feel strongly that UDC will support this mission,” said Edward Guiliano, president of New York Institute of Technology and chair of the East Coast Conference Presidents Council.
The addition of District of Columbia marks the first expansion by the East Coast Conference since 2002.
District of Columbia, currently an NCAA Division II independent, has been an associate member of the East Coast Conference in men’s and women’s tennis since 2009. The Firebirds will compete in six other ECC-sponsored sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. District of Columbia also fields varsity women’s indoor and outdoor track teams.
“We have been working with AD Patricia Thomas for many months on this idea and believe that we have done a thorough job of getting to know the institution,” said ECC Commissioner Robert Dranoff. “Patricia has done a tremendous job on developing all aspects of the athletics program, and we feel UDC will fit well with our institutions.”
Thomas said becoming a full member of the ECC is a milestone for her institution. “The conference’s mission reflects our core values,” she said. “ECC membership provides many opportunities that significantly enrich the student-athlete experience. We’re proud to take this step.”
The addition brings full-time membership in the ECC to nine institutions. Other full members include Bridgeport, C.W. Post, Dowling, Mercy, Molloy, NYIT, Queens (New York) and St. Thomas Aquinas.