LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference embarks on a new era today as it welcomes The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Seton Hill University as full-time members. Already boasting the most members of any Division II conference, the addition elevates the PSAC to the largest conference among all NCAA classifications.
Following unanimous consent by the PSAC Board of Directors, Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown officially accepted invitations to join the league on August 21, 2012. Both schools had been members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the past seven years.
"Adding Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown will undoubtedly bolster the PSAC's reputation on a regional and national scale," said PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. The conference coaches, student-athletes and administration continue to raise the bar of competiveness each year, and I'm convinced our league will develop even further with the addition of these two exceptional institutions."
The first PSAC contest for each school will take place with women's soccer matches on September 5. Seton Hill travels to Clarion University while Pitt-Johnstown will be at Indiana (Pa.) University.
The addition of the two schools, which are located approximately 50 miles apart from each other in the southwestern part of the state, elevates the conference to 18 members all located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sharing the title with the Northeast 10 Conference, the PSAC is also Division II's largest in terms of championship sponsorship with 23. Seton Hill currently fields 19 of the conference's championship sports, while Pitt-Johnstown supports 12.
This marks just the second time in the 61-year history of the PSAC that the conference has expanded its full-time membership. Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Gannon, IUP, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Mercyhurst, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities have been members since the league was formed in 1951. Gannon University and Mercyhurst University joined the 14 charter members when the PSAC initially expanded in 2008-09. Prior to 2008, the only variation to the membership came in the mid-1980s when West Chester explored a move to Division I.