New England College Set to Join Commonwealth Coast Conference as an Associate Member for Football
BEVERLY, Mass. – New England College is joining the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) as an associate member in the sport of football beginning with the 2025–2026 academic year, it was announced by Commissioner Patrick Colbert on Wednesday.
The League’s football sponsorship includes CCC full members Curry College, Endicott College, Nichols College, University of New England, and Western New England University. NEC joins Maine Maritime Academy (also joining in 2025–2026) and Husson University as CCC associate members for football.
“Partnering with a tradition-rich campus like New England College is an exciting opportunity for fans, members and, most importantly, student-athletes as we continue to build our football brand and strategically position ourselves within the football landscape,” Colbert said. “The addition of an eighth institution allows our Conference to create a competitive and robust Conference schedule which also allows our football programs the opportunity to strategically schedule quality non-conference opponents.”
NEC President Dr. Wayne F. Lesperance, Jr. announced the return of football to the campus in June 2023, after a 50-year hiatus. The Pilgrims will play with a condensed season in the fall of 2024, followed by a full season of play in the fall of 2025.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Commonwealth Coast Conference as an associate member in football,” NEC Director of Athletics Dave DeCew said. “First and foremost, we want to thank Commissioner Colbert and the Board of Directors for their support. NEC’s alignment with strong academic institutions has tremendous value, and we look forward to the competitive landscape of CCC football. We know it will be a great challenge for us, but it is an opportunity that we are investing in and excited to take on.”
In August 2023, Kevin Kelly was hired as NEC’s head coach. He brings more than 30 years’ experience coaching with extensive time spent in New England.
About the Commonwealth Coast Conference
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference composed of 10 full member and two 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. Follow news from around the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.