Merchant Marine returns to Skyline Conference

Merchant Marine athletics photo

The Skyline Conference presidents’ Council has voted to take the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy back as its newest member, beginning with the 2016-17 season.

Merchant Marine has been a member of the Landmark Conference since the conference was founded in 2007-08. The school will also be joining the NEWMAC for football. The Academy was previously a member of the Skyline Conference from 1990-2007.

“Because our teams already compete against numerous Skyline Conference schools due to our location, we are very familiar with the superior level of competition. I look forward to working with my fellow administrators and coaches to promote and execute quality athletic events and opportunities, which in turn enhances the student-athlete experience,” said U.S. Merchant Marine Academy interim athletic director Captain Bill Fell.

The Academy, located at the western end of Long Island, has been playing its conference games as far away as Washington, D.C.; Towson, Md.; and Huntingdon, Pa. The Skyline consists primarily of teams on Long Island and in the immediate New York City area.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to join the Skyline Conference. Competing against these first-rate institutions will allow our student-athletes to develop leadership and teamwork skills and a commitment to excellence that complements our mission to produce leaders of exemplary character,” said U.S. Merchant Marine Academy superintendent RADM James Helis.

"The Skyline Conference is very pleased to welcome the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy as a new member. Their presence will strengthen the conference both academically and athletically, and we are looking forward to a long and mutually enriching relationship,” said Purchase College president Thomas J. Schwarz, chair of the Skyline Presidents’ Council.

USMMA sponsors 18 varsity sports and had 21 contests against seven Skyline institutions in 2014-15. The Mariners are Landmark Conference members for 16 sports, while also competing in the Liberty League (football) and Centennial Conference (wrestling).

The Skyline sponsors 17 sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, men’s and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and men’s and women's volleyball.

The 2016-17 season will mark the Skyline Conference’s 27th year of NCAA Division III competition. The league's membership includes Farmingdale State, SUNY Maritime, Mount Saint Mary, Mount Saint Vincent, SUNY-Old Westbury, SUNY-Purchase, Sage, Sarah Lawrence, St. Joseph’s (L.I.), and Yeshiva. St. Joseph’s (Bklyn.) will join the Skyline beginning in 2015-16.