Football, Women's Golf Join Centennial Conference
Susquehanna University has accepted an invitation to join the Centennial Conference as an associate member in football and women’s golf beginning in 2010.
“Athletics is the window by which a large number of people come to know and become acquainted with colleges and universities,” says Susquehanna President L. Jay Lemons. “You are known by the company that you keep. An association with the Centennial Conference aligns us with some of the top liberal arts institutions in the country and reunites us with some of our oldest rivals.”
The addition of Susquehanna brings the number of Centennial members who sponsor football to 10. The other conference members are Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, The Johns Hopkins University, Juniata College (associate), McDaniel College, Moravian College (associate), Muhlenberg College and Ursinus College. Schools that sponsor women’s golf are Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, McDaniel and Muhlenberg. Full Centennial members who participate in sports other than football and women’s golf are Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Swarthmore College and Washington College (Md.).
“As we discussed the future of Centennial football scheduling, the state of NCAA Division III football, women’s golf and the economic realities faced by our institutions and the country, the conference’s Presidents Council looked in our backyard and found our perfect answer in Susquehanna University,” says Joan Develin Coley, president of McDaniel and chair of the council. “The academic reputation, the tradition in football, the emergence of women’s golf and the commitment to the legacy of the scholar-athlete at Susquehanna were also deciding factors as we enhance the conference.”
Susquehanna has a long and storied tradition of excellence on the gridiron. SU has played football for 110 seasons and was coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg Sr., the “Grand Old Man of Football,” from 1947 to 1952 along with his son, Amos Jr.
Susquehanna’s most prolific football period came between 1960 and 1964, when its team earned a combined 39–4–1 record with undefeated seasons in 1961 and 1962. SU has had five Associated Press, Hewlett-Packard or American Football Coaches Association All-Americans since 1990 alone. It also has earned College Sports Information Directors of America first-team Academic All-America honors three times since then and fielded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, all under current head coach and Assistant Director of Athletics Steve Briggs.
Susquehanna started women’s golf in 2002 and has been a regular competitor at tournaments around the Mid-Atlantic region alongside Centennial teams.
“Membership in the Centennial Conference provides a wide array of advantages for Susquehanna University athletics,” says Pam Samuelson, director of athletics at Susquehanna. “The benefits that it affords our women’s golf team cannot be overlooked. The program now has a home that will give further opportunities to our female athletes.”
Susquehanna football and women’s golf will begin full competition in the Centennial in 2010, with the women’s golf team vying for the conference title in the spring and the football team beginning round-robin play in the fall. SU women’s golf will compete in the Centennial championships in the spring of 2009 as a nonscoring team.
Susquehanna will continue to play football in the Liberty League through the 2009 season. Its women’s golf team currently functions as an independent.
Contributing writers to Scoreboard are Robert Edward Healy III, Cory Prescott ‘10 and Kelly Stemcosky ‘11.