The Sunrise Athletic Conference was a college athletic conference founded in 2002 and affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Its member institutions were in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont.

History

Map of the Sunrise Athletic Conference, circa 2011

The SAC was founded when both the Maine Athletic Conference and the Mayflower Conference disbanded in the spring of 2002. Both of these conferences were NAIA conferences of long standing.[1] The conference formed with eight inaugural members: the College of St. Joseph, Fisher College, Lyndon State College, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Maine at Machias, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Paul Smith's College and Vermont Technical College.

Royal Goheen became the commissioner of the Sunrise Conference and continued to serve as the only commissioner in the history of the SAC until it disbanded. In 1997, Goheen took on the role as the commissioner of the Maine Athletic Conference before its disbandment. In 2010 he was elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame.[2]

In 2004, the Sunrise Conference added the State University of New York at Canton after the university joined the NAIA as part of a transition from two-year to four-year institution. The conference held steady with nine members until Paul Smith's College and Lyndon State College left in 2010, dropping SAC membership to seven.

The conference disbanded in 2011 when the College of St. Joseph, Vermont Technical College and the University of Maine at Machias left the conference and the NAIA for the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC).[3][4] The University of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and the State University of New York at Canton then left with no regional NAIA competition to become independents in the USCAA.[4]

In addition, Maine–Presque Isle is transitioning to an independent member of NCAA Division III, while SUNY Canton was accepted into the transition process to move from the NAIA to NCAA D-III.[5] Fisher College joined the American Mideast Conference.[4]

Chronlogical timeline

Member schools

Final members

The Sunrise had seven full members in the conference's final season, only two were private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Subsequent
conference
Current
conference
Fisher College Boston, Massachusetts 1903 Nonsectarian 1,121 Falcons 2002 2011 American Mideast
(2011–12)
Continental
(2012–present)
University of Maine at Fort Kent Fort Kent, Maine 1878 Public[a] 1,339 Bengals 2002 2011 USCAA Independent
(2011–present)
University of Maine at Machias Machias, Maine 1909 Public[a] 1,200 Clippers 2002 2011 Yankee (YSCC)[b]
(2011–20)
Suspended athletics
University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle, Maine 1903 Public[a] 1,600 Owls 2002 2011 USCAA/D-III Independent
(2011–17)
American (ACAA)[c]
(2017–18)
North Atlantic (NAC)[c]
(2018–present)
College of St. Joseph Rutland, Vermont 1956 Catholic
(Diocese of
Burlington
)
500 Saints 2002 2011 Yankee (YSCC)[b]
(2011–19)
Closed in 2019
State University of New York at Canton Canton, New York 1906 Public[d] 3,320 Kangaroos 2004 2011 USCAA/D-III Independent
(2011–17)
American (ACAA)[c]
(2017–18)
North Atlantic (NAC)[c]
(2018–present)
Vermont Technical College Randolph, Vermont 1866 Public
technical
college
1,453 Knights 2002 2011 Yankee (YSCC)[b]
(2011–present)
Notes
  1. ^ a b c Part of the University of Maine System.
  2. ^ a b c Currently an USCAA athletic conference.
  3. ^ a b c d Currently an NCAA Division III athletic conference.
  4. ^ Part of the State University of New York System.

Former members

The Sunrise had two other full members during the conference's tenure, one was a private school:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Subsequent
conference(s)
Current
conference
Lyndon State College[a] Lyndon, Vermont 1911 Public[b] 1,519 Hornets 2002 2006 D-III Independent
(2006–08)
North Atlantic (NAC)[c]
(2008–present)
Paul Smith's College Paul Smiths, New York 1946 Nonsectarian 1,000 Falcons[d] 2002 2010 Yankee (YSCC)[e]
(2010–present)
Notes
  1. ^ Currently known as Northern Vermont University–Lyndon since 2018.
  2. ^ Part of the Vermont State Colleges System.
  3. ^ Currently an NCAA Division III athletic conference.
  4. ^ Paul Smith's is now competing as the Paul Smith's Bobcats.
  5. ^ Currently an USCAA athletic conference.

Membership timeline

North Atlantic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsState University of New York at CantonYankee Small College ConferenceVermont Technical CollegeYankee Small College ConferenceCollege of St. JosephYankee Small College ConferencePaul Smith's CollegeNorth Atlantic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsUniversity of Maine at Presque IsleUnited States Collegiate Athletic AssociationUniversity of Maine at MachiasUnited States Collegiate Athletic AssociationUniversity of Maine at Fort KentNorth Atlantic ConferenceNCAA Division III independent schoolsLyndon State CollegeNAIA independent schoolsAmerican Mideast ConferenceFisher College

 Full member (non-football) 

Sports

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
Green tickY
Basketball
Green tickY
Green tickY
Cross Country
Green tickY
Green tickY
Golf
Green tickY
Soccer
Green tickY
Green tickY
Softball
Green tickY
Volleyball
Green tickY

Conference championships

References

  1. ^ https://naia.cstv.com/member-services/conferences/profiles/NAIA_ConferenceProfile_Sunrise.pdf[dead link]
  2. ^ Staff (Aug 24, 2010). "NAIA Announces 2010-11 Hall of Fame Class". Victory Sports Network. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  3. ^ Hawkins, Gary (June 30, 2011). "COLLEGE: UMA adds 3 sports". Kennebec Journal. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Mahoney, Larry (June 17, 2011). "UMFK, UMPI, UMM leave NAIA for new association". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  5. ^ Brown, Gary (June 30, 2011). "DIII Membership Committee recommends four new active members". NCAA. Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2011.

External links