Today marked the start of an exciting new chapter in the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown athletics program as the school became an official member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Seton Hill University joins Pitt-Johnstown as the two newest members of the conference. Already boasting the most members of any Division II conference, the addition elevates the PSAC to the largest conference among all NCAA classifications. Pitt-Johnstown’s first PSAC contest will take place on September 5 as the women’s soccer team takes to the road in a match against IUP.
Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said, “This move fulfills a long-held aspiration to join the PSAC. We are delighted to join the PSAC and its many fine member schools across the Commonwealth. We look forward to the opportunities that this move will create for our outstanding student-athletes to compete against teams that are also well-known in our region. I can already see the spirited competition that will develop with our neighbors, including IUP, Clarion, Lock Haven, and California. We look forward to welcoming many new visitors to our region and our campus, and showcasing our first-class athletic and academic facilities."
"Adding Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown will undoubtedly bolster the PSAC's reputation on a regional and national scale," said PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. The conference coaches, student-athletes, and administration continue to raise the bar of competiveness each year, and I'm convinced our league will develop even further with the addition of these two exceptional institutions."
The addition of the two schools, which are located approximately 50 miles apart from each other in the southwestern part of the state, elevates the conference to 18 members all located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sharing the title with the Northeast 10 Conference, the PSAC is also Division II's largest in terms of championship sponsorship with 23. Pitt-Johnstown currently fields 12 of the conference's championship sports, and Seton Hill supports 19.
This marks just the second time in the 61-year history of the PSAC that the conference has expanded its full-time membership. Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Gannon, IUP, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Mercyhurst, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities have been members since the league was formed in 1951. Gannon University and Mercyhurst University joined the 14 charter members when the PSAC initially expanded in 2008-09. Prior to 2008, the only variation to the membership came in the mid-1980s when West Chester explored a move to Division I.
The PSAC created a special video welcome to Pitt-Johnstown and Seton Hill. Click here to view.
Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College,” by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization" for 2011. Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.