GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) officially announced the addition of men's lacrosse as a sponsored sport beginning with the upcoming 2016-17 academic year.
As such, Lake Erie College announced its immediate withdrawal from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and will begin competition in G-MAC play this season.
A total of seven schools will comprise the new men's lacrosse league for the 2017 spring season. The sport will feature five current or incoming G-MAC schools and a minimum of two additional associate members.
Participating full members will include Alderson Broaddus University, Davis & Elkins College, Lake Erie College, Ohio Valley University and Walsh University. Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pa.) and Seton Hill University (Greensburg, Pa.) will also join as associate members for the newly sponsored sport.
All but Davis & Elkins College previously competed together in the ECAC and all seven schools will be eligible for conference championship participation in the inaugural G-MAC season.
"We are excited to see these institutions remain together to compete in one of the fastest growing collegiate sports in the country," said G-MAC Commissioner Tom Daeger. "Our organization will work hard to ensure the experience for the student-athletes is a positive one as they compete for league and national championships."
"The ECAC leadership has been very helpful in the coordination of this transition and we are appreciative of the opportunity to provide this new championship for institutions in the G-MAC."
In four years of ECAC play, the Storm reached the Conference Championship game three times, winning it all in 2014 and 2015.
"We have truly appreciated being a member of the ECAC and hope that our accomplishments as a multiple conference champion in men's lacrosse has done the membership proud," remarked Storm Athletic Director Reid Guarnieri."We will always look upon our time in the league fondly and wish the ECAC well in its future endeavors."
The inaugural G-MAC championship tournament will be conducted the weekend prior to the NCAA Regional on May 4-6, 2017.
"We are extremely excited to get an early start on league play in our new conference this spring," concluded Guarnieri. "With the quality programs joining us in the G-MAC now, we know conference play will remain highly competitive as we prepare for a hopeful return to the NCAA postseason in 2017."
Despite departing the ECAC, Lake Erie will maintain 2017 scheduled games with former conference rivals University of Indianapolis, Lindenwood University and Wheeling Jesuit University.
With the addition of men's lacrosse, the G-MAC will sponsor a total of 20 intercollegiate sports in 2016-17, the most in the completed four-year history of the conference.
More information about G-MAC men's lacrosse, including final scheduling for the spring of 2017, will be made available in the coming weeks.