East Coast Conference (Division I)

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East Coast Conference
DivisionDivision I
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The East Coast Conference was an college athletic conference at the Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It was founded as the university division of the Middle Atlantic Conferences (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 eight.

In 1987, a make-over for the ECC was pitched that included adding 12 members and sponsoring football again, The schools that were to be added included the return of Rutgers and Temple as well as adding Boston College, Syracuse, Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, South Carolina, Miami and Florida State. The NCAA approved it and was scheduled to start in 1990 and struck a television rights deal with NBC, The conference’s basketball tournament was going to move to the Meadowlands Arena, after they couldn’t get Madison Square Garden to host because they were in contract with the Big East. The Conference was abandoned on March 18, 1990, after Penn State announced that it would be joining the Big Ten Conference. After that Florida State joined the ACC, South Carolina left for the SEC and Boston College, Syracuse, Pitt, Temple, Rutgers, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Miami all formed Big East Football and NBC was awarded the Notre Dame football rights.[citation needed]

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 (now known as the America East 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 MAC's website,[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]

In all tables in this section, school names and nicknames reflect those in use in the last school year each institution was an ECC member. Conference names in the "Next Conference" columns reflect those in use during the first school year of membership in the new league.

Founding members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Subsequent
Bucknell University Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 1846 Private 3,655 Bison 1958 1990 Patriot
University of Delaware Newark, Delaware 1743 Public 21,856 Fightin'
Blue Hens
1958 1991 North Atlantic (NAC)[a]
Coastal (CAA)
Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1891 Private 25,500 Dragons 1958 1991 North Atlantic (NAC)[a]
Coastal (CAA)
Gettysburg College Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 1832 Private 2,600 Bullets 1958 1974 Middle Atlantic (MAC)[b][c]
La Salle University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1863 Private 7,554 Explorers 1958 1983 Metro Atlantic (MAAC)
Midwestern (MCC)[d]
Atlantic 10 (A-10)
Lafayette College Easton, Pennsylvania 1826 Private 2,488 Leopards 1958 1990 Patriot
Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1865 Private 7,070 Engineers[e] 1958 1990 Patriot
Muhlenberg College Allentown, Pennsylvania 1848 Private 2,225 Mules 1958 1964 Middle Atlantic (MAC)[b][c]
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey 1766 Public 65,000 Scarlet
1958 1962 various[g] Big Ten
Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1851 Private 9,025 Hawks 1958 1982 Atlantic 10 (A-10)
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1884 Public 37,788 Owls 1958 1982 Atlantic 10 (A-10)
The American
  1. ^ a b Currently known as the America East Conference since 1996.
  2. ^ a b c d Currently an NCAA Division III athletic conference.
  3. ^ a b The Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC) remains in operation, but since 1999 has been an umbrella organization of three conferences. All full MAC members have membership in either the MAC Commonwealth or the MAC Freedom, both of which organize competition in the same set of 14 sports. The third league, the Middle Atlantic Conference (singular), sponsors MAC-wide competition in 13 additional sports.
  4. ^ Currently known as the Horizon League since 2001.
  5. ^ Lehigh adopted its current nickname of Mountain Hawks in 1995.
  6. ^ Currently known as the Atlantic 10 Conference since 1982.
  7. ^ Rutgers had joined the following subsequent conferences: as NCAA D-I Independent from 1962–63 to 1975–76; in the Eastern Athletic Association[f] (EAA) from 1976–77 to 1994–95; original Big East Conference from 1995–96 to 2012–13; and the American Athletic Conference during the 2013–14 school year.

Subsequent members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Subsequent
American University Washington, D.C. 1846 Private 6,776 Eagles 1965 1984 Coastal (CAA)
Brooklyn College Brooklyn, New York 1930 Public 16,463 Bulldogs 1991 1992 N/A[a] C.U. of New York (CUNYAC)[b]
University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York 1846 Public 29,850 Bulls 1991 1994 Mid-Continent[c]
Mid-American (MAC)
Central Connecticut State University New Britain, Connecticut 1848 Public 11,865 Blue Devils 1990 1994 Mid-Continent[c]
Northeast (NEC)
Chicago State University Chicago, Illinois 1867 Public 7,131 Cougars 1993 1994 various[d] D-I Independent
Hofstra University Hempstead, New York 1935 Private 12,400 Flying
1965 1994 North Atlantic (NAC)[f]
Coastal (CAA)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Catonsville, Maryland 1966 Public 13,979 Retrievers 1990 1992 Big South
Northeast (NEC)
America East
Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, Illinois 1867 Public 11,149 Golden Eagles 1993 1994 Mid-Continent[c]
Rider University Lawrenceville, New Jersey 1865 Private 5,400 Broncs 1966 1992 Northeast (NEC)
Metro Atlantic (MAAC)
Towson State University[h] Towson, Maryland 1866 Public 22,285 Tigers 1982 1992 Big South
America East[f]
Coastal (CAA)
Troy State University[i] Troy, Alabama 1887 Public 19,579 Trojans 1993 1994 Mid-Continent[c]
Trans Atlantic (TAAC)[j]
Sun Belt
West Chester University West Chester, Pennsylvania 1880 Public 14,211 Golden Rams 1969 1982 Pennsylvania (PSAC)[k]
  1. ^ Brooklyn suspended its athletics program after the 1991–92 school year, before re-instating it back at the NCAA Division III ranks, effective since the 1996–97 school year.
  2. ^ Currently an NCAA Division III athletic conference.
  3. ^ a b c d e Currently known as the Summit League since 2007.
  4. ^ Chicago State had joined the following subsequent conferences: the Mid-Continent Conference[c] from 1994–95 to 2005–06; as an NCAA D-I Independent from 2006–07 to 2008–09; the Great West Conference from 2009–10 to 2012–13; and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) from 2013–14 to 2021–22.
  5. ^ Hofstra adopted its current nickname of Pride in 2000.
  6. ^ a b Currently known as the America East Conference since 1996.
  7. ^ Northeastern Illinois dropped its athletics program after the 1997–98 school year.
  8. ^ Towson dropped "State" from its name in 1997.
  9. ^ Troy dropped "State" from its name in 2005.
  10. ^ Currently known as the ASUN Conference since 2016.
  11. ^ Currently an NCAA Division II athletic conference.

Membership timeline[edit]

Sun Belt ConferenceASUN ConferenceSummit LeagueTroy UniversitySummit LeagueNortheastern Illinois UniversityNCAA Division I independent schoolsWestern Athletic ConferenceGreat West ConferenceNCAA Division I independent schoolsSummit LeagueChicago State UniversityCity University of New York Athletic ConferenceBrooklyn CollegeMid-American ConferenceSummit LeagueUniversity at BuffaloNortheast ConferenceSummit LeagueCentral Connecticut State UniversityAmerica East ConferenceNortheast ConferenceBig South ConferenceUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore CountyCoastal Athletic AssociationAmerica East ConferenceBig South ConferenceTowson UniversityPennsylvania State Athletic ConferenceWest Chester UniversityMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferenceNortheast ConferenceRider UniversityCoastal Athletic AssociationAmerica East ConferenceHofstra UniversityPatriot LeagueCoastal Athletic AssociationAmerican UniversityCoastal Athletic AssociationAmerica East ConferenceDrexel UniversityCoastal Athletic AssociationAmerica East ConferenceUniversity of DelawarePatriot LeagueLehigh UniversityPatriot LeagueLafayette CollegePatriot LeagueBucknell UniversityAtlantic 10 ConferenceHorizon LeagueMetro Atlantic Athletic ConferenceLa Salle UniversityAmerican Athletic ConferenceAtlantic 10 ConferenceTemple UniversityAtlantic 10 ConferenceSt. Joseph's UniversityCentennial ConferenceMiddle Atlantic ConferencesGettysburg CollegeCentennial ConferenceMiddle Atlantic ConferencesMuhlenberg CollegeBig Ten ConferenceAmerican Athletic ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)Atlantic 10 ConferenceNCAA Division I independent schoolsRutgers University


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


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