JU rowing programs joining MAAC
Photo by Julie Whitcomb
Photo by Julie Whitcomb
The Jacksonville University rowing programs have found a new home as both the men’s and women’s teams will join the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference beginning this season.

“The MAAC is excited about the addition of the Jacksonville men’s and women’s rowing programs and their participation in the MAAC Rowing Championships will add even more excitement to an already competitive field,’’ Jamie Fogarty, Senior Associate AD/SWA at Iona College and chair of the MAAC Rowing Committee, said. “As the women’s rowing programs throughout the MAAC look forward to automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship in 2013, the addition of another talented team will contribute positively to the depth of the conference and the competition for the AQ slot.’’

JU men’s coach Jim Mitchell is pleased his team now will be identified with a conference.

“We couldn’t be happier about joining the MAAC,’’ Mitchell said. “I think it will bring a good level of competition and spirit to the conference, both academically and athletically, and our student-athletes will benefit from being in such a competitive and well-organized conference.”

JU women’s coach Kris Muhl, whose team now will have access to an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, says the move will enhance his program’s goals.

“Being part of a conference championship brings significant benefits to the student-athletes and should give everyone a little more motivation,’’ Kuhl said. “It sends a clear message that our eventual goal is not just to get to the NCAA’s, but to be a contender. Being an affiliate member of a conference that has a rowing championship is something I’ve been working on since coming to JU. I am so excited to see this come to fruition.’’

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our rowing programs to enhance their identities with a conference home,’’ JU director of athletics Alan Verlander said. “Our women’s team now has the opportunity to compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship which is the goal for all of our programs.’’

The 2012 MAAC Rowing Championships will take place Sun., April 28, at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J. Lake Mercer also will play host to the 2012 NCAA Rowing Championships on May 25-27 hosted by the MAAC and Rider University.

The MAAC is headquartered in Edison, N.J. and consists of 10 member institutions: Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Loyola University of Maryland, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara, Rider St. Peter’s College and Siena.