The Illinois Institute of Technology Department of Athletics will join the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) beginning in the 2018–19 academic year, the league announced May 3.
Illinois Tech is currently a NCAA Division III provisional member, a member of the Association of Division III Independents, and a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The Scarlet Hawks’ entrance into the NACC coincides with the timeline of Illinois Tech’s completion of provisional status and acceptance as a full NCAA Division III member.
“Illinois Tech is proud to enter the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference,” Illinois Institute of Technology President Alan W. Cramb said. “An Illinois Tech education makes it possible for students to excel in scholastics, entrepreneurship, and innovation, as well as athletics. And this new partnership will significantly increase opportunities for our talented students. We are especially excited that our student-athletes will now get a chance to compete in NCAA tournaments and conference championships. This is a great day for Illinois Tech.”
“We are very pleased that IIT will be joining the NACC,” said NACC Commissioner G. Steven Larson. “We feel they will be a great fit in terms of their mission, core values, geographic location, academic prowess, and athletic competitiveness as they reach full NCAA Division III status.”
In the NACC, the Scarlet Hawks will sponsor the sports of baseball, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s cross country, men’s cross country, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, women’s tennis, men’s tennis, women’s indoor track and field, men’s indoor track and field, women’s outdoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, women’s volleyball, and men’s volleyball.
Illinois Tech also sponsors women’s lacrosse, women’s swimming and diving, and men’s swimming and diving. The university will also begin sponsoring men’s lacrosse in spring 2019.
“The opportunity to compete in the NACC will be a great boost to our program,” said Illinois Tech Director of Athletics Joe Hakes. “As we have transitioned the Athletic Department to NCAA Division III, it is apparent that conference membership plays a big part in how we grow and develop. The NACC’s lineup of members will provide us with standards of achievement that will help us gauge the progress of our programs. We look forward to being good, contributing members to the conference and look forward to new rivalries and colleagues.”
The site visit team did a great job of getting to know us as a department and as an institution,” he continued. “I am very fortunate to have a great staff who work tirelessly to provide a great student-athlete experience. That dedication really showed itself to the visiting team.”
Beginning in 2018–19, the Scarlet Hawks will immediately be included in league schedules and championships in cross country, tennis, and track and field. Since conference and many nonconference schedules have been set for baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball, conference committees will be meeting to explore if Illinois Tech can be added to the 2018–19 schedules. The university will be included in the 2019–20 season at the latest.
The NACC began its first season of competition in fall 2006. The conference consists of 12 private colleges and universities from the shared-border states of Illinois and Wisconsin, all of which are NCAA Division III members.
The NACC sponsors championships in 18 sports. Women’s championships include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. Men’s championships are sponsored in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball. Men’s volleyball will become the 19th championship sport next year.