STEUBENVILLE, Ohio- Franciscan University will join the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) as the league’s 10th full member. Franciscan is the PAC’s first full member addition since 2007. That’s when Chatham University and Geneva College joined the conference.
“The PAC Presidents’ Council was very impressed with the school’s academic stature and student-centered focus in a faith-based learning environment, as well as its commitment to continuing to develop a broad-based, successful NCAA Division III athletic program,” said PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko, in his 13th year as the league’s top administrator. “We believe they will make a seamless transition to our PAC culture, and look forward to them competing in all PAC championships beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.”
PAC officials announced the addition of the Barons Tuesday morning. The PAC Presidents’ Council voted to admit the Roman Catholic insitution at it’s April 11 meeting in Pittsburgh.
“Varsity athletics is an integral part of the Franciscan University educational experience. Our athletic program is well known for creating a faith-centered environment that promotes ongoing personal conversion and the development of Christian virtues and character. We are excited that this integration of mind and spirit will continue with our new affiliation in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference,” said Franciscan’s president, Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR.
Franciscan is in its first season as a PAC affiliate member in men’s and women’s lacrosse, the school will compete in women’s golf and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field during the 2019-20 academic year. Franciscan’s 14 additional NCAA Division III sports will be eligible for PAC championships and all-conference honors in 2020-21.
“We are thrilled to be joining the PAC,” said Baron’s Head Men’s Soccer Coach Christian Boback. “We can’t wait to compete and join great colleges and universities closest to us. This is a huge step in strengthening and growing our soccer program.”
Franciscan has served as a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) since 2008. winning a combined 21 team championships. The 2020-21 season will mark the first year for Franciscan to have all of its NCAA-affiliated athletic programs compete under the same conference affiliation.