East Coast Conference (Division I)

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For the Division II conference, see East Coast Conference.
East Coast Conference
Established 1958
Dissolved 1994
Association NCAA
Division Division I
Locations
East Coast Conference locations

The East Coast Conference was an NCAA Division I college athletic conference. It was founded as the university division of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) in 1958. The MAC consisted of over 30 teams at that time, making it impossible to organize full league schedules in sports like football, basketball, and baseball. In 1958, the larger schools created their own mini-conference, consisting of 11 members (7 for football).

In 1974, the larger schools in the MAC officially formed the East Coast Conference. During the 1974-75 through 1981-82 seasons, the ECC enjoyed a consistent membership of 12 teams. That stability was rocked when St. Joseph's, Temple, and West Chester departed in the summer of 1982, while Towson was added, trimming the league to 10 programs. Over the next two years, La Salle and American also said goodbye, cutting the roster to 8.

The winds of realignment would sweep across intercollegiate athletics in full force as the next decade dawned. Bucknell, Lafayette, and Lehigh left to help form the Patriot League in 1990, while Delaware and Drexel headed to the North Atlantic Conference in 1991. Attempting to stem the tide, the ECC added UMBC and Central Connecticut in 1990, followed by Division I newcomers Buffalo and Brooklyn in 1991.

More erosion ensued as Rider, Towson, and UMBC moved to other leagues after the 1991-92 campaign, while Brooklyn suspended its entire athletic department. This reduced the ECC to just 3 members -- Hofstra, Central Connecticut, and Buffalo -- not enough to maintain official conference status under NCAA bylaws during the 1992-93 season. Unable to move elsewhere themselves, that trio made one last salvage effort.

Spreading far and wide, Chicago State, Northeastern Illinois, and Troy State were enlisted, doubling participation to 6 teams for the 1993-94 academic year. Finally, the ECC was absorbed by the Mid-Continent Conference (now The Summit League) in the summer of 1994, although Hofstra instead decided to join the North Atlantic Conference. None of the 5 ECC institutions which entered the Mid-Con at that time remain in the league today.

According to the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Corporation's web site,[1] the East Coast Conference was not a successor to the MAC. Instead, 11 of the 12 University Division members left to form the original ECC in 1974, but the primary organization continued as an NCAA Division III conference when the NCAA adopted a division structure.

"June 4–6, 1974 - The first major schism to be focused on this study occurs when the MAC University Division, with 12 members, loses 11 members, who leave to form their own conference (East Coast Conference). American, Bucknell, Delaware, Drexel, Lafayette, La Salle, Lehigh, Rider, St. Joseph's, Temple and West Chester all leave. Gettysburg, which opts to join the College Division, is the only University Division institution to remain."

Member schools[edit]

Founding members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Next
Conference
Current
Conference
Bucknell University Lewisburg, Pennsylvania Bison 1846 Private 3,655 1958–59 1989–90 Patriot
University of Delaware Newark, Delaware Fighting Blue Hens 1743 Private 21,856 1958–59 1990–91 North Atlantic CAA
Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dragons 1891 Private 25,500 1958–59 1990–91 North Atlantic CAA
Gettysburg College Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Bullets 1832 Private 2,600 1958–59 1973–74 MAC
(NCAA Division III)
Centennial
(NCAA Division III)
La Salle University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Explorers 1863 Private 7,554 1958–59 1982–83 MAAC Atlantic 10
Lafayette College Easton, Pennsylvania Leopards 1826 Private 2,488 1958–59 1989–90 Patriot
Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Mountain Hawks 1865 Private 7,070 1958–59 1989–90 Patriot
Muhlenberg College Allentown, Pennsylvania Mules 1848 Private 2,225 1958–59 1963–64 MAC
(NCAA Division III)
Centennial
(NCAA Division III)
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey Scarlet Knights 1766 Public 65,000 1958–59 1961–62 Independent Big Ten
Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hawks 1851 Private 9,025 1958–59 1981–82 Atlantic 10
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Owls 1884 Public 37,788 1958–59 1981–82 Atlantic 10 The American

Subsequent members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Next
Conference
Current
Conference
American University Washington, D.C. Eagles 1846 Private 6,776 1965–66 1983–84 CAA Patriot
Brooklyn College Brooklyn, New York Bulldogs 1930 Public 16,463 1991–92 1991–92 Independent CUNYAC (Division III)
University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York Bulls 1846 Public 29,850 1991–92 1993–94 Mid-Continent MAC
Central Connecticut State University New Britain, Connecticut Blue Devils 1848 Public 11,865 1990–91 1993–94 Mid-Continent Northeast
Chicago State University Chicago, Illinois Cougars 1867 Public 7,131 1993–94 1993–94 Mid-Continent WAC
Hofstra University Hempstead, New York Pride 1935 Private 12,400 1965–66 1993–94 North Atlantic CAA
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Catonsville, Maryland Retrievers 1966 Public 13,979 1990–91 1991–92 Big South America East
Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, Illinois Golden Eagles 1867 Public 11,149 1993–94 1993–94 Mid-Continent dropped athletics
Rider University Lawrenceville, New Jersey Broncs 1865 Private 5,400 1966–67 1991–92 Northeast MAAC
Towson State University Towson, Maryland Tigers 1866 Public 22,285 1982–83 1991–92 Big South CAA
Troy State University Troy, Alabama Trojans 1887 Public 19,579 1993–94 1993–94 Mid-Continent Sun Belt
West Chester University West Chester, Pennsylvania Golden Rams 1880 Public 14,211 1969–70 1981–82 PSAC
(NCAA Division II)

Champions[edit]

Men's basketball[edit]

Regular season[edit]

  • 1959 St. Joseph’s
  • 1960 St. Joseph’s
  • 1961 St. Joseph’s
  • 1962 St. Joseph’s
  • 1963 St. Joseph’s
  • 1964 Temple
  • 1965 St. Joseph’s
  • 1966 St. Joseph’s
  • 1967 Temple
  • 1968 La Salle
  • 1969 Temple
  • 1970 St. Joseph’s (East) / Rider (West) / Lehigh (West) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1971 St. Joseph’s (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1972 Temple (East) / Rider (West)
  • 1973 St. Joseph’s (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1974 St. Joseph’s (East) / La Salle (East) / Rider (West)
  • 1975 American (East) / La Salle (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1976 St. Joseph’s (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1977 Temple (East) / Hofstra (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1978 La Salle (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1979 Temple (East) / Bucknell (West)
  • 1980 St. Joseph’s (East) / Lafayette (West)
  • 1981 American (East) / Lafayette (West) / Rider (West)
  • 1982 Temple (East) / West Chester (West)
  • 1983 American (East) / La Salle (East) / Hofstra (East) / Rider (West)
  • 1984 Bucknell
  • 1985 Bucknell
  • 1986 Drexel
  • 1987 Bucknell
  • 1988 Lafayette
  • 1989 Bucknell
  • 1990 Towson/Hofstra/Lehigh
  • 1991 Towson
  • 1992 Hofstra
  • 1993 No Championship
  • 1994 Troy State

Conference tournament[edit]

  • 1975 La Salle
  • 1976 Hofstra
  • 1977 Hofstra
  • 1978 La Salle
  • 1979 Temple
  • 1980 La Salle
  • 1981 St. Joseph’s
  • 1982 St. Joseph’s
  • 1983 La Salle
  • 1984 Rider
  • 1985 Lehigh
  • 1986 Drexel
  • 1987 Bucknell
  • 1988 Lehigh
  • 1989 Bucknell
  • 1990 Towson
  • 1991 Towson
  • 1992 Towson
  • 1993 DNP
  • 1994 Hofstra

Membership timeline[edit]

Troy University Northeastern Illinois University Chicago State University Brooklyn College University at Buffalo University at Buffalo Central Connecticut State University Central Connecticut State University University of Maryland, Baltimore County Towson University West Chester University Rider University Hofstra University Hofstra University American University Drexel University University of Delaware Lehigh University Lafayette College Bucknell University La Salle University Temple University St. Joseph's University Gettysburg College Muhlenberg College Rutgers University

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-31.