University of Hartford Athletics Joins Commonwealth Coast Conference
The University of Hartford is pleased to announce the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) as its new athletic conference, beginning in the 2023–24 academic year.
The conference emerged as the right partner for UHart as the University evaluated potential conferences and as the CCC continued its search for additional members after welcoming Suffolk University as its 10th core member in the 2020–21 school year.
“The University of Hartford is honored to have found a great match in the Commonwealth Coast Conference,” said University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward. “The CCC member institutions share UHart’s vision and values, our high expectations for academic and athletic achievement on a regional and national level, and our prioritization of student experiences and success. We are excited about the natural rivalries that will unfold and look forward to the competitive future of Hartford Athletics with our new conference partners. We have found the ideal conference to ensure the success of our landmark reclassification to Division III.”
The University of Hartford currently fields 17 NCAA sports and has recently announced its intent to add tennis, field hockey, and ice hockey in coming years. A successful esports program continues to gain momentum and the construction of a new track and field is planned for 2023. The University’s incoming class for fall 2022 includes more student-athletes than any year in recent history, highlighting the interest in Division III collegiate athletics in its markets.
The CCC is an NCAA Division III athletic conference with 10 member institutions throughout the New England region. UHart will become the 11th core conference member of the CCC after receiving formal NCAA approval to transition from Division I to Division III last March.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Board of Directors and my fellow CCC presidents, I wish to welcome the University of Hartford to the CCC family,” said University of New England President James Herbert, chair of the CCC Board of Directors. “The CCC Board has been most impressed with UHart’s thorough strategic planning, vision for athletics, and solid commitment to providing expanded sport offerings. Each of the CCC member institutions places the highest emphasis on providing elite academic and athletic opportunities that complement each other, and the CCC board is pleased to partner with an institution that has demonstrated a commitment to these values."
Dr. Sharon Beverly, Vice President of Athletics and Recreation
We are so pleased and proud to be a new member of the prestigious CCC. Ultimately, our goal was to land in a conference that recognizes the value UHart brings, and also aligns with our vision and aspirations for pursuing high-quality and competitive DIII athletics. I could not be happier for Hartford Athletics, our coaches, and our student-athletes.
Since 2013, the CCC has prioritized conference growth through the addition of seven sponsored championships, adding Suffolk University in 2020, and working with its member institutions to include new programs in their existing varsity sport offerings. These additions have not only grown the CCC, but have allowed member institutions to realize greater exposure and widen their already strong appeal to prospective student-athletes. The conference currently administers championships in 20 intercollegiate sports.
"We are so pleased and proud to be a new member of the prestigious CCC,” said Dr. Sharon Beverly, vice president of athletics and recreation at University of Hartford. “Ultimately, our goal was to land in a conference that recognizes the value UHart brings, and also aligns with our vision and aspirations for pursuing high-quality and competitive DIII athletics. I could not be happier for Hartford Athletics, our coaches, and our student-athletes."
In recent years, teams and individual student-athletes representing CCC institutions have experienced increased success in advancing to the NCAA championships finals and super-regional sites, earning All-Region and All-America honors, and increasing their inclusion on Academic All-Region and Academic All-America teams. The Conference highlighted the Hawks’ own significant team and individual achievements, as well as the strong academic profile of UHart’s student-athletes, as an opportunity to further elevate Hartford Athletics—and the CCC overall—in the future.
For nearly 50 years, the Division III model has demonstrated that rigorous academics, competitive athletics, and the pursuit of numerous interests as part of the undergraduate experience can all exist together,” said CCC Commissioner Gregg M. Kaye. “This model, which serves the greatest number of NCAA student-athletes and more than 430 institutions, is what drives the passion and dedication of institutional and athletics leaders, coaches, and support staff at each of the CCC member schools. It is apparent that the University of Hartford’s growing commitment to the Division III model will enhance the excellence that the CCC and our members work tirelessly to provide our student-athletes, not just on individual campuses, but through our conference-level competition and collaboration.”
The University and Conference will partner on UHart’s NCAA Division III reclassification in the coming years, in preparation for membership no later than September 1, 2025. UHart will compete in the CCC beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year. All existing athletic scholarships for returning students will continue to be honored during the transition.
"The University continues to emphasize our commitment to our student-athletes and the ongoing success of the Department of Athletics as a vital part of our institution,” said Woodward. “Our future athletics program will continue to support competitive intercollegiate athletics, in addition to a holistic approach inclusive of health, recreation, and wellness components for all students, which is central to our University mission.”
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD
Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford has been guiding the purpose and passion of students for over six decades. Our Department of Athletics currently offers 17 Division I sports (9 women’s teams, 8 men’s teams) competing as a Division I independent during the 2022–23 year. UHart student-athletes have enjoyed stellar success in the classroom over the long term, winning the conference’s prestigious Academic Cup seven times and earning an average 3.0 GPA or higher for 32 consecutive semesters. Our student-athletes are part of a University community of approximately 4,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students representing 49 states and 44 countries. Our students come together for a common purpose: to collaborate across different disciplines, diversify perspectives, and broaden worldviews. We are a four-year private university focused on advancing the public good through meaningful connections within our communities. Our unique approach to comprehensive education gives us the critical perspectives that lead to impactful change, regionally and beyond. With degree programs spanning the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions, we focus on doing the work that matters. For more information, visit hartford.edu.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprising 10 full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 20 intercollegiate sports.