The world of college athletics continues to change right before our eyes. Schools are moving to different conferences, and in some cases, moving either up or down a division. Add another school to the list of those moving up a division. Stonehill College accepted an invitation to move from division two to division one and join the Northeast Conference starting this fall. They will begin their four-year reclassification period that will end with the start of the 2026-27 season. All sports on the Skyhawks calendar will make the move, although a couple of programs will find new conferences to be a part of.
Stonehill was a part of the NE-10 as a division two school. They won the conference’s President Cup six times and finished in the top three in 15 of the last 16 years. The school is well known for its academics having earned the NCAA II President Award for Academic Achievement with an academic success rate of 90 percent or better. The school is ranked 98 as a National Liberal Arts School, and 94 for best value category by U.S. News & World Report. 30 student-athletes have been named Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Director of America, 22 of them within the last ten years out of 147 Academic All-District selections.
On the field, the Skyhawks have had their fair share of success. The school has received 118 NCAA tournament bids and Women’s basketball leads with 26 tournament appearances. Women’s Cross-Country is next with 21, followed by 18 from Men’s Cross-Country, and 15 from both Men’s basketball and Women’s tennis. The star of the bids is the school’s Track and Field program which has on a regular basis sent student-athletics to compete in the NCAA Men’s and Women’s track & field Championship. Over the 41-year history of the NE-10, Stonehill has won 129 league championships, with 198 student-athletes earning All-America honors. In the last ten years alone, the Skyhawks have had 51 teams qualify for the NCAA tournament. Men’s basketball has won two East Region titles and advanced to two Elite Eights, and a National semifinals appearance in 2012. Women’s hoops have three regional titles on their resume with the last one coming in 2018. Women’s lacrosse has two National Championships to its credit in 2003 and 2005. In 2011, Corey Thomas won an individual title in the men’s high jump at the 2011 NCAA Indoor track & field championship.
Why are they moving up? The Northeast Conference had an opening because Bryant College moved to the America East Conference. Stonehill was on the radar and they said yes to the idea. Much work still needs to be done before the fall sports season gets underway. Funding for all of the programs must be found. The school will sponsor 20 of the league’s 25 championships. Stonehill will offer 23 varsity sports, including nine on the men’s side and 14 on the women’s side. The timing of this move comes as the school is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary. The President of the school, Dr. John Denning expressed his gratitude to the NE-10 conference for allowing the school to call the league home for the past decades. Athletic Director, Dean O’Keefe is looking forward to the challenges that moving to division one will create for his programs. The next four years should be one of change for Stonehill College and here’s hoping the move turns out to be the right one.
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