2012-2013 MAAC Story
With 10 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is in its 32nd year of competition during the 2012-2013 academic year.
The MAAC was founded in 1980 by six charter members: the U.S. Military Academy, Fairfield University, Fordham University, Iona College, Manhattan College and Saint Peter's College. Competition followed one year later in the fall of 1981 with members competing in the sports of men's cross country and men's soccer. On January 2, 1982, Army traveled to Iona for the first MAAC men's basketball game and the MAAC story had begun.
Current Conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Loyola University Maryland, Manhattan College, Marist College, Niagara University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University, and Siena College. In addition, associate members include the University of Detroit Mercy, Jacksonville University and Virginia Military Institute in men's lacrosse. St. Francis (N.Y.) College, Villanova University, VMI and Wagner College are all associate members of the MAAC Women's Water Polo League. Drake University, Jacksonville University, Robert Morris University and Sacred Heart University compete in women's rowing, while the University at Albany, Boston University and the University of Hartford began competition in women's golf in the spring of 2010. In December 2012, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University accepted the MAAC's invitation to become a Conference member beginning July 1, 2013, for the 2013-14 academic year. The MAAC will support 24 sports and championships during the 2012-2013 academic year. The MAAC has automatic qualification to 15 NCAA Championships, with the MAAC being eligible for women's rowing for the first time in the spring of 2013.
The MAAC Basketball Championships returns to Springfield's MassMutual Center for the 2013 and 2014 championships, which will be co-hosted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. By having an excellent working relationship with various facilities, the MAAC has been able to attract a number of NCAA Championship events. Most recently, the MAAC and Rider hosted the 2012 NCAA Rowing Championships at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, New Jersey. The MAAC and Rider also co-hosted the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The MAAC, Canisius College and Niagara University successfully hosted the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. All three parties hosted the event in 2004 and 2007. The MAAC and Rider University co-hosted the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Regional at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J., after recording the third highest attendance figure for the women's championship with the First and Second Rounds in 2006. The MAAC and Rider will work together to co-host the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Regional at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
MAAC Associate Sports
In June of 1995, the MAAC continued to develop opportunities for student-athletes as the conference announced the formation of the MAAC Men's and Women's Lacrosse Leagues. The men's league began competition in the spring of 1996, while the women's league commenced in the spring of 1997. The men's league consists of four MAAC schools - Canisius, Manhattan, Marist, and Siena - and three associate members - Detroit, Jacksonville and Virginia Military Institute. The women's league consists of MAAC institutions Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara and Siena.
In 2002, the MAAC added the MAAC Women's Water Polo League. The league is currently made up of three MAAC schools - Iona, Marist and Siena - as well as four associate members, St. Francis (N.Y.), Villanova, VMI and Wagner.
Sacred Heart started participating in MAAC Women's Rowing in the spring of 2008. Drake University joined the league for the 2010 MAAC Championship, while Robert Morris began competition in the spring of 2011.
In the summer of 2009, the MAAC added three associate members - Albany, Boston University and Hartford - to women's golf, with the programs starting competition against MAAC members Fairfield, Niagara and Siena in 2009-2010. Butler University was also added in the summer of 2012, giving the MAAC seven teams competing in women's golf.
For the first time in league history, an associate member was added in men's swimming & diving when Bryant University joined the league in the summer of 2012.
Academics and Athletics
The MAAC prides itself on the accomplishments of its student-athletes in the classroom, as well as on the field. Mary Beth Riley, a 1991 graduate of Canisius, was the first recipient of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. In the fall of 1998, Erin Whalen, a member of the Iona women's rowing team, was awarded one of the nation's 32 Rhodes Scholarships for academic achievement and civic leadership. Jose Vargas, a Loyola student, was also awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1999.
First-class facilities are the rule with MAAC schools, as teams regularly play in top-notch arenas, such as Madison Square Garden, the MassMutual Center, the IZOD Center, First Niagara Center, Times Union Center, the Webster Bank Arena, and the Sun National Bank Center. The other MAAC championships boast their share of outstanding locales as well, such as Waterfront Park in Trenton, New Jersey, home of the 2013 MAAC Baseball Championship. This year, the MAAC will take the men's and women's cross country championships to Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The 2013 MAAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships will be held at Disney's Palm Golf Course.
In the past several years, a number of the MAAC schools have also enjoyed success in NCAA Championships. MAAC schools have made a total of 80 NIT appearances and 50 NCAA appearances. For the first time in 16 years, the MAAC had two teams advance to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, with Loyola earning the league's automatic bid and Iona garnering an at-large bid. In March 2012, Fairfield and Manhattan participated in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, with the Stags advancing to the semifinals. The Manhattan women participated in the Women's Basketball Invitational, reaching the semifinal round of the tournament for the second consecutive season. In 2007, the Marist women's basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to the eventual National Champion, the University of Tennessee. The Red Foxes have recorded five NCAA wins since their runs in 2007. In the fall of 2011, the Iona men's cross country team finished tied for ninth place at the NCAA Championship race, extended the Gaels' streak to 10 straight Top 10 national finishes.
The MAAC has also been a leader in the forefront of technology, expanding the notoriety of the league into cyberspace. In 2007, the league reached an agreement with JumpTV, Inc., now NeuLion, Inc., to design and host the MAAC web page. MAACSports.com has been a great success, providing fans with up-to-date contest results, live and on-demand video and an online merchandise store. The MAAC, in conjunction with NeuLion, launched an iPhone app in February 2011, followed by Android and iPad apps that were released during the 2011-12 academic year.
In September 2011, the conference announced the launch of MAAC.TV, the league's first broadband network. Six schools - Canisius, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Rider, and Saint Peter's - are currently part of the network, which broadcast over 400 live events in 2011-12.
The MAAC President for the 2012-2013 academic year is Dr. Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., the President of Saint Peter's University. The Vice-President is John J. Hurley, the President of Canisius College. Don Harnum, Director of Athletics at Rider University, will chair the Committee on Athletic Administration, and Joyce Eggleston, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator at Siena College will serve as Vice Chair.