Ashland University is changing conferences

Ashland University is changing conferences
                        

The Ashland University board of trustees affirmed the school’s decision to join the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, beginning the 2021-22 academic year.

Ashland, which has claimed four Div. II national championships in the past seven years, will be the 14th member of the nine-year-old GMAC, which includes schools from Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The conference will accommodate all 22 NCAA-sponsored sports currently offered at AU.

The Eagles will remain in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the 2020-21 academic year. AU was a founding member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 1978 and has been a GLIAC member since 1995.

“We are confident that this move best serves our student-athletes, coaches and fans, cognizant of the fact that Ashland University has an excellent reputation as a DII school,” AU President Carlos Campo said. “Over the years AU athletes have distinguished themselves as fine athletes and fine young men and women. We are looking forward to joining many schools we have known well over the years, as well as forging new traditions in the years ahead.”

The GMAC, headquartered in Indianapolis, includes Alderson Broaddus University, Cedarville University, the University of Findlay, Hillsdale College, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lake Erie College, Malone University, Ohio Dominican University, Ohio Valley University, Tiffin University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Ursuline College and Walsh University. Davis & Elkins College, Mercyhurst University, Seton Hill University and Wheeling University are associate members in the sport of men’s lacrosse.

AU director of athletics Al King said Findlay and Hillsdale are among AU’s oldest rivals, and Ohio Dominican also has a shared history with the Eagles. Seven of the GMAC member schools also are just a day trip from the Ashland campus, which King said “makes it easier for fans and parents to see more road games. It also makes it easier for the university and the athletic department to plan special events and fundraising activities before or after road contests.”

As a member of the GMAC, the Eagles also will play schools in the Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Nashville metro areas, which King said he hopes will gain AU additional media exposure.

“Ashland is among Div. II’s most accomplished athletic programs and is an ideal fit for the Great Midwest in mission, profile and dedication to the student-athlete experience,” GMAC Commissioner Tom Daeger said. “I commend President Campo and athletic director Al King’s leadership in developing this partnership, and we look forward to focusing on the continued institution and conference success with the Eagles.”


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