BRYN MAWR, Pa.--Adrian College's new men's and women's rowing programs have found a home, accepting an invitation to join the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference. That announcement was made jointly by Director of Athletics Michael Duffy and MARC commissioner Carol Bower.
"On behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference, I am pleased to announce that we have accepted Adrian College’s men’s and women’s membership application, effective immediately, and to begin competition in the fall of 2018," Bower said. "We are very excited about having the Bulldogs join the MARC, and look forward to seeing their teams grow in size, strength, and speed in the coming years."
Duffy echoed Bower's statement, saying "we are proud to join the MARC that has a reputation for having some of the best NCAA Division III institutions in the country. We are extremely happy that the student-athletes of our inaugural recruiting class will have the opportunity to compete for rowing championships and all-conference awards in their first season."
Adrian will be the 10th women's program of the MARC, which includes Bryn Mawr College Owls, Cabrini University Cavaliers, Franklin & Marshall College, Diplomats, Johnson & Wales University Wildcats, Marietta College Pioneers, North Park University Vikings, St. Mary's College of Maryland Seahawks, Stockton University Ospreys and Washington College Shorewomen. The men will join an affiliation that includes Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats, Marietta College Pioneers, St. Mary's College of Maryland Seahawks, Stockton University Ospreys and Washington College Shoremen.
The MARC sponsors postseason awards for coach of the year and all-conference teams for varsity and novice men and women.
"We are humbled, thankful, and excited to learn that our bid to join the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference has been accepted" said Bart Thompson, who was named April 24, 2017, as the first head rowing coach for the Bulldog men and women. "I would like to express my gratitude to all the coaches of our member institutions for providing us this wonderful opportunity.
"We are honored to be among such prestigious company in a conference that represent some of the nation's best, both academically and athletically.
Thompson added: "Additionally, we are excited for what this means for our racing schedule. Most prominently, the MARC Championship regatta—which features numerous fast boats and is our qualifying regatta for the NCAA Championships on the women's team—will immediately become a major focal point of our spring racing season. We also look forward to incorporating races against our fellow MARC programs into our schedule."
Prior to the formation of the MARC, the nine charter member schools - Bryn Mawr College, Franklin & Marshall College, Johns Hopkins University, Marietta College, the University of Mary Washington, North Park University, Richard Stockton College, Rutgers University-Camden, and Washington College - enjoyed an affiliation due to their annual competition at the Mid-Atlantic Division III Rowing Championships, formerly the Atlantic Collegiate League Sprints Championships. In late 2008, the rowing programs at the nine schools expressed a common desire to formalize their association in order to enhance the student-athlete experience for their rowers. From that desire, the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference was born in January 2009 and the Mid-Atlantic Division III Rowing Championships became the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference Championships. Later that winter, Johns Hopkins announced its decision to discontinue its varsity rowing programs following the 2008-09 academic year and the MARC dropped to eight schools after its initial season of competition. The MARC lost another charter member following the completion of the 2013-14 academic year when the University of Mary Washington discontinued its sponsorship of the sport.
The first expansion of the MARC came in the fall of 2015 when first-year varsity women's program Johnson & Wales joined the league. In April 2016, the MARC also voted to open up its men's championship to non-members competing at the annual championship regatta, beginning that same spring. The conference will welcomed two new members in St. Mary's (Md.) and Cabrini for the 2016-17 academic year. And, now, Adrian College which comes in with Catholic and Ohio Wesleyan as new members for 2018-19.
For more information on the MARC, please visit: http://www.marcrowing.com/index.html