New York, N.Y. - The Skyline Conference Presidents’ Council has voted to accept the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as its newest member, beginning with the 2016-17 season.
"The Skyline Conference is very pleased to welcome the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as a new member. Their presence will strengthen the Conference both academically and athletically, and we are looking forward to a long and mutually enriching relationship,” said Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz, chair of the Skyline Presidents’ Council.
The Academy is located on 81 acres of waterfront land in Kings Point, N.Y., on the North Shore of Long Island, approximately 20 miles east of New York City. USMMA sponsors 18 varsity sports and had 21 contests against seven different Skyline institutions in 2014-15. The Mariners are members of the Landmark Conference for 16 sports, while also competing in the Liberty League (football) and Centennial Conference (wrestling). They were previously members of the Skyline Conference from 1990-07.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to join the Skyline Conference. Competing against these first-rate institutions will allow our student-athletes to develop leadership and teamwork skills and a commitment to excellence that complements our mission to produce leaders of exemplary character,” said U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Superintendent RADM James Helis.
The Skyline Conference crowns champions in 17 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, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and men’s and women's volleyball. At least one student-athlete from the Skyline has earned Academic All-America distinction in each of the past six semesters, and 378 student-athletes from the conference were named to the Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for the 2014 Fall Semester.
“Because our teams already compete against numerous Skyline Conference schools due to our location, we are very familiar with the superior level of competition. I look forward to working with my fellow administrators and coaches to promote and execute quality athletic events and opportunities, which in turn enhances the student-athlete experience,” said U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Interim Athletic Director Captain Bill Fell.
The 2016-17 season will mark the Skyline Conference’s 27th year of NCAA Division III competition. Along with USMMA, the league's membership includes Farmingdale State College, SUNY Maritime, Mount Saint Mary College, the College of Mount Saint Vincent, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Purchase College, SUNY, The Sage Colleges, Sarah Lawrence College, St. Joseph’s College-Long Island, and Yeshiva University. St. Joseph’s College-Brooklyn will join the Skyline beginning in 2015-16.
"The Merchant Marine Academy is among the finest institutions in the country and their athletics philosophy mirrors the conference mission of striving toward academic and athletic excellence,” said Skyline Commissioner Linda Bruno.
“Our member institutions frequently compete against USMMA in a variety of sports and I expect them to transition seamlessly into the conference for the 2016-17 academic year. I applaud the Presidents’ Council on an excellent addition to the Skyline.”
Location: Kings Park, N.Y.
Enrollment: Approximately 1,000
Superintendent: RADM James Helis
Director of Athletics: Captain Bill Fell (Interim)
Colors: Royal Blue & Gray
Athletics Website: www.usmmasports.com
Sponsored Sports: Baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s tennis, women’s volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s track & field, football and wrestling