Aerial view of Grant Field

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is excited to announce the addition of Dean College as its newest full core member institution beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, as announced by GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh on Wednesday. 

Dean College, located in Franklin, MA is currently a member of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) for all sports excluding football. 

“Dean is a perfect match with the GNAC’s core values, sport sponsorships, and is like-minded in many ways with our current members,” said Walsh. “The college is extremely committed to the athletic department, its programs, and we are excited for this addition to help enhance the student-athlete experience for everyone across the conference.”

“Our move to the GNAC marks the next chapter for Dean Athletics and represents a significant opportunity for Dean College and our student-athletes.  It is an occasion we will take full advantage of as we continue to expand our athletic endeavors and promote The Dean Difference,” says Dr. Paula M. Rooney, Dean College President. 

” We are extremely proud of our coaches, support staff, and student-athletes who have been true Bulldogs on their fields of play. We are excited to join the GNAC, a conference that embodies balancing academics, athletic opportunity and community involvement as we constantly seek to enhance the experience of our student-athletes here at Dean College,” says Dean College Director of Athletics, Todd Vasey. 

In all, 14 of Dean’s 15 varsity sport programs will compete initially in the GNAC: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and men’s and women’s volleyball.

Located approximately forty miles south of Boston, the private, residential, not-for-profit institution sits upon a beautiful 100-acre campus in Franklin. 

In Dean’s tenure in the NECC, the Bulldogs captured the league’s men’s cross-country championship in the fall of 2018 after claiming the conference’s men’s lacrosse team title in the spring of 2018. 

The Bulldogs’ on-campus athletic facilities include the Longley Athletic Complex, which houses Dale Lippert Field, a 1,500-seat stadium, as well as dedicated fields for baseball, softball and soccer.  Other facilities include Pieri Gymnasium and Grant Field, which boasts a recently installed synthetic surface.  

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dean to the 2020-21 academic year membership,” said Mary Lou Retelle, President of Anna Maria College and chair of the GNAC Presidents’ Council. “We look forward to many years of Dean’s contribution to the overall success of GNAC.”

The addition of Dean College one year from now will keep the GNAC at 13 full core members, as Suffolk University will exit the GNAC for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) starting with the 2020-21 academic year. 

Dean College football will continue to compete in the Eastern College Football Conference (ECFC) and has announced it will begin sponsoring women’s golf in 2020-21.

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience. 

Learn more about the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

Learn more about Dean College Athletics