BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Effective with the 2015-16 academic year, the varsity athletic teams of the Brooklyn Campus of St. Joseph's College will join the Skyline Conference as announced by St. Joseph's College President Dr. Jack Calareso, Ph.D. and Skyline Conference Commissioner Linda Bruno earlier today.
"St. Joseph's is proud to have both of its campuses as members of the Skyline Conference," stated Calareso. "This opportunity will provide our student-athletes on our Brooklyn Campus with the opportunity to compete against the best competition in NCAA Division III and showcase their talents, dedication, and character to a wider audience."
"We're honored that Brooklyn will join their Long Island counterpart as members of the Skyline Conference," said Bruno. "St. Joseph's has been a tremendous asset to the conference and I'm confident that the addition of the Brooklyn Campus will further our tradition of academic and athletic excellence."
The Long Island campus has been a member of the Skyline Conference since 1999 and has won the Presidents Cup—a measure of all-sports excellence in conference competition—four times in the seven years it has been awarded.
The Brooklyn campus achieved full NCAA Division III membership in September 2011 but has remained an independent member affiliated with the Association of Division III Independents. AD3I offered student-athlete awards, access to NCAA grants, but no championship opportunities, outside of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, which women's basketball received in 2012, the Brooklyn Campus's first-and-only NCAA Championship appearance.
Formed in 1989, the Skyline Conference is comprised of 10 members located around the New York metropolitan region. It conducts championships in 17 sports, including all 13 intercollegiate varsity sports that St. Joseph's offers—men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, women's swimming, baseball and softball—with the conference champions receiving an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championships.
"Joining an NCAA-affiliated conference was always in our roadmap of attaining NCAA membership," remarked Athletic Director Frank P. Carbone, who spearheaded the NCAA process and the growth of athletics on the Brooklyn Campus. "With The Hill Center set to open shortly and our teams seeing recent success and growth, I'm confident now is the right time to take the next step."
The Hill Center is a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, which is the first on-campus athletics venue on the Brooklyn Campus, featuring a 270-spectator basketball and volleyball court, a fully equipped fitness center and offices for the entire Athletics staff.
With this shift, the athletic program will conclude its long-standing membership in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after the 2014-15 season.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce our departure from the Hudson Valley," said Carbone, who is also a past president of the conference. "Our membership was critical in the growth of our athletics program and helping us ultimately reach NCAA membership. I am thankful for all the camaraderie among the Hudson Valley schools and hope to continue our rivalries in the future, but I cannot wait for the enhanced competition and the new rivalries that are sure to develop with our joining the Skyline Conference."
The current membership of the Skyline Conference is comprised of Farmingdale State (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Maritime College (Throgs Neck, N.Y.), Mount Saint Mary College (Newburgh, N.Y.), College of Mount Saint Vincent (Riverdale, N.Y.), SUNY College at Old Westbury (Westbury, N.Y.), Purchase College (Purchase, N.Y.), The Sage Colleges (Albany, N.Y.), Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, N.Y.), St. Joseph's College-Long Island (Patchogue, N.Y.) and Yeshiva University (New York, N.Y.).