LHU Wrestling, EWL to join Mid-American Conference

(LHU SPORTS) Bellefonte graduate and lock Haven University’s Brock Port wrestles in an NCAA wrestling match.

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – The Lock Haven University wrestling program has announced that it will join the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

LHU, along with the six other current members of the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) will join the MAC for the sport of wrestling only, as it was announced officially today (Tuesday, March 5) by the Mid-American Conference office.

This announcement expands MAC wrestling to 15 members for next season (2019-20), as Bloomsburg, Clarion, Cleveland State, Edinboro, George Mason, Lock Haven and Rider will join current MAC wrestling members Buffalo, Central Michigan, Kent State, Missouri, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Old Dominion and SIU-Edwardsville.

The seven-team expansion makes the MAC the second largest NCAA Division I wrestling conference.

“Expanding with the MAC is a logical step that creates tremendous opportunities for Lock Haven University,” said Dr. Tom Gioglio, LHU Director of Athletics. “Besides the stability of competing in a conference that would now be the second largest in NCAA Division I and a conference that sends the second highest volume of national qualifiers to the NCAA Championships, the expansion will provide several creative opportunities to market, promote and enhance LHU’s wrestling brand, which will be very beneficial at The Haven in many areas.”

“We are excited to join the MAC and continue our strong tradition in this growing conference,” said LHU head coach Scott Moore. “The expansion will allow for increased exposure and a new standard of excellence within our program. With growth comes challenges and adversity, but we understand the long-term vision of the expansion and look forward to the opportunity. The EWL has a rich history and we will continue to remember its wrestlers and coaches who represented us on the national stage.”

LHU, Bloomsburg, Clarion and Edinboro’s departure from the EWL, and the move to join the MAC for wrestling, will also change the landscape of wrestling in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).

With the announcement to join the MAC, LHU and the other EWL institutions that are also PSAC members have informed the PSAC that they will no longer participate in the conference’s annual championship. The new affiliation with the MAC requires that institutions concentrate fully on their Division I membership and scheduling opportunities. LHU would like to thank the PSAC for its cooperation in the move to the MAC, which allows for the betterment and growth of the Bald Eagles wrestling program.

The 2019 EWL Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, March 9 at George Mason University and the Bald Eagles will look to make it back-to-back team titles, and defend their 2018 championship.

Mid-American Conference:

Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of ten members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in five (5) states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio.

Current full member institutions and the year they joined are — East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.