New England Football Conference

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New England Football Conference
New England Football Conference logo
Established 1965
Association NCAA
Division Division III
Members 8
Sports fielded 1 (men's: 1 (football); women's: 0)
Region New England
Commissioner Gregg M. Kaye (since 2015)
New England Football Conference locations

The New England Football Conference (NEFC) was an athletic conference that competed in football in the NCAA's Division III from 1965 through the 2016 season. Member teams were located in New England. Before a conference split that took effect with the 2013 season, the NEFC was divided into the Boyd Division and the Bogan Division, with the division champions competing in Division III football's only season-ending conference championship game.[1]

After the 2012 season, the conference split, with the seven Massachusetts state institutions and Plymouth State playing in the MASCAC for football.[2] The conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs continued to be held by the eight remaining members: Curry, Endicott, Maine Maritime, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina, Coast Guard, and Western New England. In the 12 seasons the NEFC hosted a championship game between its two division winners, these remaining eight members accounted for 16 of the 24 championship game participants and 8 of 12 conference champions.[3]

In October 2015, the Commonwealth Coast Conference announced that it would add football by effectively absorbing the NEFC, starting with the 2017–18 school year. Accordingly, the 2016 season was the last for the NEFC as a separate entity.[4]

Membership evolution[edit]

1965 - The New England Football Conference is founded by charter members Curry, Bridgewater State and Maine Maritime.

1971 - Plymouth State and New England College become conference members.

1972 - Nichols College and Boston State become conference members.

1972 - New England College suspends football program following '72 season; Mass. Maritime Academy becomes conference member.

1973 - Framingham State and New Haven become conference members.

1979 - Western Connecticut State becomes conference member.

1981 - Western New England College becomes conference member.

1981 - New Haven leaves conference, moves to Division II.

1981 - Boston State suspends football program following '81 season.

1982 - Westfield State becomes conference member.

1985 - Fitchburg State and Worcester State become conference members.

1985 - Western Connecticut leaves conference to pursue independent schedule.

1987 - UMass Lowell becomes conference member in 1987, initiating a split into two six-team divisions with divisional winners meeting in championship playoff game.

1988 - UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth become conference members.

1988 - Western New England leaves conference following '88 season.

1992 - Plymouth State and UMass Lowell join the Freedom Football Conference; Curry and Nichols join the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.

1992 - The conference now numbers nine colleges that play a round robin schedule.

1997 - Five new members begin conference play in 1998: Curry, Nichols, MIT, Salve Regina and WNEC. The 14-team conference will have two 7-team divisions.

1999 - Bridgewater State (10-0) receives first automatic qualification to NCAA playoffs.

2000 - The first Championship game in the 14-team Conference is scheduled. Wal*Mart agrees to sponsor the game. The Divisions are renamed with the Red being the Bogan Division and the Blue becoming the Boyd Division named after the NEFC's first two commissioners. Bridgewater State defeats Salve Regina 27-24 for the championship. UMass Boston drops football.

2001 - The Bogan Division plays with only six teams while the Boyd continues with seven. Endicott College begins a football program and is admitted into the Boyd Division beginning with the 2003 season.

2004 - A Most Valuable Player Award is established for the NEFC Championship Game and is named the William Mottola Award in honor of the long-time conference commissioner.

2005 - Plymouth State University and the United States Coast Guard Academy are admitted as members for play beginning in the 2006 season. Plymouth will enter the Boyd Division and Coast Guard Academy will compete in the Bogan Division. The Conference decides that the Championship Game will be played at the campus of the Bogan Division winner in even numbered years and at field of the Boyd Division champion in odd numbered years.

2007- Curry College becomes the first NEFC team to win an NCAA Division III Championship Tournament game, defeating Hartwick College 42-21.

2008 - The NEFC qualifies two teams for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament for the first time. Conference champion Plymouth State University receives the automatic bid, and Curry College receives an at-large bid.

2010 - Maine Maritime Academy sets a new NCAA Division III season rushing record with 5189 yards in 11 games. The Mariners miss the all-Division mark set by the University of Oklahoma in 1971 by eight yards.

2011 - Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference institution presidents decide to form a MASCAC football league, which will consist of 9 schools, and the league champion will be awarded an automatic berth to the NCAA D-III Football National Tournament. Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University are the 6 core schools deciding to join the new MASCAC conference. Also, Plymouth State University, UMass-Dartmouth, and Western Connecticut State will also be joining the MASCAC conference as flagship members; effectively in 2013.

2012 - The NEFC qualifies two teams for the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the second time in league history. Framingham State (10-1) won the NEFC Championship and received the automatic bid, while Bridgewater State (9-1) received an at-large bid. Framingham State lost in the First Round, 20-19 to Cortland State (NY), while Bridgewater State also lost in the First Round, 44-14 to Widener University (PA).

2013 - Retired Bridgewater State University Director of Athletics John Harper is named Commissioner of the Conference

2014 - The Conference Championship traveling trophy is named for former Maine Maritime Academy Director of Athletics and football coach Bill Mottola. Mottola was NEFC Commissioner from 1997-2007 and was affiliated with the conference for four decades.

2015 - Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Coast Guard Academy announce plans to leave the NEFC following the 2016 season in order to compete in the NEWMAC, which will begin sponsoring football as a championship sport in 2017.

2015 - Gregg Kaye, Commissioner of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, is named NEFC Commissioner.

2017 - The NEFC is renamed Commonwealth Coast Football and will continue to operate as a single-sport conference administered by the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Member schools[edit]

Final members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Primary
Curry College Milton, Massachusetts 1879 Private 4,700 Colonels 1965
1998[n 1]
CCC Purple & White         
Endicott College Beverly, Massachusetts 1939 Private 3,810 Gulls 2003 CCC Blue & Green         
Maine Maritime Academy Castine, Maine 1941 Public 858 Mariners 1965 NAC Blue & Gold         
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, Massachusetts 1861 Private 10,235 Engineers 1998 NEWMAC Red & Silver         
Nichols College Dudley, Massachusetts 1815 Private 1,459 Bison 1972
1998[n 1]
CCC Green & Black         
Salve Regina University Newport, Rhode Island 1934 Private/Catholic 2,589 Seahawks 1998 CCC Blue & Green         
United States Coast Guard Academy (Coast Guard) New London, Connecticut 1876 Federal 1,045 Bears 2006 NEWMAC Blue & Orange         
Western New England University Springfield, Massachusetts 1919 Private 3,159 Golden Bears 1981
1998[n 2]
CCC Blue & Gold         
  1. ^ a b Curry and Nichols left the NEFC after the 1991 season (1991–92 school year).
  2. ^ Western New England left the NEFC after the 1988 season (1988-89 school year).

Former members[edit]

The years of departure listed are the calendar years in which each school left the conference. Because football is a fall sport, the year of departure is the calendar year after the last season of competition.

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Football
Boston State College Boston, Massachusetts 1872 Public N/A Beacons 1972 1982 Merged into the University of Massachusetts Boston
Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, Massachusetts 1840 Public 12,127 Bears 1965 2013 MASCAC
Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, Massachusetts 1894 Public 5,201 Falcons 1985 2013 MASCAC
Framingham State University Framingham, Massachusetts 1839 Public 5,989 Rams 1973 2013 MASCAC
University of Massachusetts Boston South Boston, Massachusetts 1964 Public 15,741 Beacons 1988 2001 no longer sponsors football Little East (LEC)
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Dartmouth, Massachusetts 1895 Public 7,451 Corsairs 1988 2013 MASCAC Little East (LEC)
University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell, Massachusetts 1894 Public 16,969 River Hawks 1988 1992 no longer sponsors football[a 1] America East (NCAA D-I)
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts 1891 Public 1,130 Buccaneers 1972 2013 MASCAC
New England College Henniker, New Hampshire 1946 Private 1,460 Pilgrims 1971 1973 no longer sponsors football NAC
University of New Haven West Haven, Connecticut 1920 Private 6,000 Chargers 1973 1982 Northeast-10 (NCAA D-II)
Plymouth State University Plymouth, New Hampshire 1871 Public 6,600 Panthers 1971
MASCAC Little East (LEC)
Western Connecticut State University Danbury, Connecticut 1903 Public 6,001 Colonials 1979 1986 MASCAC Little East (LEC)
Westfield State University Westfield, Massachusetts 1838 Public 5,166 Owls 1982 2013 MASCAC
Worcester State University Worcester, Massachusetts 1874 Public 5,470 Lancers 1985 2013 MASCAC
  1. ^ Although UMass Lowell left the NEFC in 1992, it continued to sponsor the sport through the 2002 season.

Membership timeline[edit]

United States Coast Guard Academy Endicott College Salve Regina University Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of Massachusetts Dartmouth University of Massachusetts Boston University of Massachusetts Lowell Worcester State University Fitchburg State University Westfield State University Western New England University Western Connecticut State University University of New Haven Framingham State University Nichols College Massachusetts Maritime Academy Boston State College Plymouth State College New England College Maine Maritime Academy Curry College Bridgewater State University

Primary conferences[edit]

During the existence of the NEFC, its teams competed in other conferences in other sports. See also: Commonwealth Coast Conference, Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges, Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges, Eastern College Athletic Conference, New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference.


  1. ^ "New England Football Conference to Restructure". Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "MASCAC Set to Add Football as Championship Sport in 2013-14". Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Conference Champions". Retrieved June 13, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ "Commonwealth Coast Conference To Administer Football Championship Beginning in 2017-18" (Press release). Commonwealth Coast Conference. October 5, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2016. 

External links[edit]