Mount Mary joins the American Collegiate Athletic Association
"Joining the ACAA provides a direct path for our teams and student-athletes to earn a 'Championship Experience.' It also provides a more level playing field on the recruiting trail when student-athletes from Southeastern Wisconsin are trying to choose between the many great NCAA Division III options in the area."
Marc Heidorf, Mount Mary University athletic director
The American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) announced that as of July 2018, Mount Mary University will be members of the newly formed conference. The Blue Angels will join as members of the ACAA in basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball in the next academic year.
With the introduction of the 12th president in July of 2017, Mount Mary University has seen many changes. After a budding athletic program in recent years, Mount Mary University President Christine Pharr Ph.D. saw fit to improve the student-athlete experience by making a commitment to the ACAA.
Following an affirmative vote from the conference at the 2018 NCAA Convention on January 19, the ACAA approved the Blue Angels membership for the beginning of the 2018-19 athletic season.
"They are a great institution in an excellent place, with strong leadership that has a commitment to the student," said ACAA Commissioner Kelly J. Higgins of Mount Mary in the ACAA news release. "That philosophy, and their values, make them a great fit for the ACAA, and I look forward to working with President Pharr and the rest of the Mount Mary Community long into the future."
The fall of 2017 was the first season for the ACAA. A collection of NCAA Division III institutions from across the country, the ACAA has multiple former members of the Association of Division III Independents and Great South Athletic Conference: Mount Mary has been a member of both the GSAC and AD3I since joining the NCAA. Currently the ACAA consists of Alfred State College, Finlandia University, University of Maine-Presque Isle, Mills College, SUNY Canton, SUNY Delhi, Pine Manor College and University of Valley Forge.
There are eight ACAA sponsored sports including women's and men's cross country, women's and men's soccer, women's volleyball, women's and men's basketball and softball.
"Joining the ACAA provides a direct path for our teams and student-athletes to earn a 'Championship Experience'," said Mount Mary University Athletic Director Marc Heidorf. "It also provides a more level playing field on the recruiting trail when student-athletes from Southeastern Wisconsin are trying to choose between the many great NCAA Division III options in the area."
As many know, an entrance into an NCAA conference means post-season play and a higher possibility of making it to an NCAA Championship tournament.
Athletic Director Marc Heidorf added, "We will join next year and be on track to be eligible for post-season play in '19-20; the same year the conference is likely to gain an automatic qualifier" to the NCAA Tournament for conference champions."
Additionally, Mount Mary could draw attention from across the country. Heidorf continued, "…given the unique dynamic of a conference with schools stretching coast-to-coast, Milwaukee presents a desirable location to potentially host conference tournaments, bringing a degree of interest and notoriety to campus."
The Blue Angels are excited for the future and what the partnership with ACAA could bring to the Mount Mary community. With so many possibilities and benefits to the student-athletes with this new joining, Mount Mary University Athletics can continue to grow, succeed and create bold leaders for the future and the greater community.