NEWPORT, R.I. – New England Football Conference (NEFC) Commissioner Sue Lauder has announced that the conference will be restructuring prior to the 2013 season. The NEFC will become an eight-team, one-division league and will still retain its automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Salve Regina University has been an NEFC member institution since 1998, and participated in the conference's first-ever championship game during the 2000 season.
Founded in 1965, the NEFC is currently the largest Division III football conference in the nation with 16 teams divided into two divisions; the Boyd Division and the Bogan Division. Before the start of the 2013 season, the league will be consolidated to a group of eight schools, including Salve Regina University, Curry College, Endicott College, Maine Maritime Academy, MIT, Nichols College, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Western New England University.
"We are excited about the change that has occurred in the NEFC", says Salve Regina head coach Bob Chesney. "This move will allow the conference champion to be in a better position upon entering the NCAA Tournament."
Salve Regina will enter the 2012 campaign coming off its most successful season since 1998. The Seahawks compiled an 8-3 record in 2011, highlighted by a 26-6 win over Worcester State in the ECAC North-West Bowl; the team's first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Bowl victory in 13 years.