The University of Hartford announced they're joining a new athletic conference as the school switches from Division I to Division III sports.
The university is joining the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) starting in the 2023-24 school year.
UHart officials said that throughout their search, the CCC emerged as the right partner for the school community. The conference was looking for additional members after welcoming Suffolk University as its 10th core member.
“The CCC member institutions share UHart’s vision and values, our high expectations for academic and athletic achievement on a regional and national level, and our prioritization of student experiences and success. We are excited about the natural rivalries that will unfold and look forward to the competitive future of Hartford Athletics with our new conference partners. We have found the ideal conference to ensure the success of our landmark reclassification to Division III," President Gregory Woodward said in a statement.
The university currently fields 17 NCAA sports and has recently expressed intent to add tennis, field hockey and ice hockey in the coming years, they said.
UHart's incoming freshman class includes more student-athletes than any year in recent history, according to school officials.
“The CCC Board has been most impressed with UHart’s thorough strategic planning, vision for athletics, and solid commitment to providing expanded sport offerings. Each of the CCC member institutions places the highest emphasis on providing elite academic and athletic opportunities that complement each other, and the CCC board is pleased to partner with an institution that has demonstrated a commitment to these values," said University of New England President and CCC Board of Directors Chair James Herbert.
A CCC spokesperson said several institutions have experienced increased success in advancing to the NCAA championship finals and super-regional sites.
All existing athletic scholarships for returning students will continue to be honored during the transition to DIII.
The CCC was founded in 1984 and it consists of 10 full member and one associate member institutions the New England region, officials said.
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