James Madison To Join MAC As Affiliate Member in Field Hockey in 2024
by USA Field Hockey
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today an agreement with James Madison University to become an affiliate member of the league for women's field hockey, beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.
With the addition of James Madison, the conference will consist of nine field hockey programs – five from full MAC membership (Ball State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami, and Ohio) and four affiliate members (Appalachian State, Bellarmine, James Madison and Longwood).
"I am pleased to welcome James Madison University as an affiliate member in women's field hockey beginning with the 2024 season," said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. "JMU has a rich field hockey tradition and will strengthen the league. I look forward to their entrance and the development of new rivalries in this sport."
James Madison founded its field hockey program in 1973. The Dukes have compiled an overall record of 584-405-36 (.587), have won four conference championship titles and have made a total of nine NCAA appearances – which includes a National Championship in 1994. A total of 26 student-athletes have been recognized as All-Americans.
"I'm excited for Head Coach Christy Morgan and our student-athletes that JMU field hockey has found a home in the MAC as an affiliate conference member," JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. "As we pursued a conference opportunity for our program, it was important that we identified the right fit. We believe that we've found that in the MAC, where JMU will join a reputable group of institutions, including our full-time conference mate, Appalachian State. I'd like to thank Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and the MAC institutions for welcoming JMU, and we look forward to great completion in 2024."
"We are so excited to be accepted into the MAC! It's a conference with amazing coaches and great programs," added JMU Head Coach Christy Morgan. "We are so happy to have a home that respects field hockey and the student-athlete, and we look forward to nurturing a great relationship. Thank you to the MAC and Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher for supporting JMU field hockey and helping to create a wonderful experience for our student athletes! I'd also like to give a sincere thank you to Jeff Bourne and Stephen LaPorta for working so hard to make this happen. This shows a great commitment to field hockey at JMU. JMU field hockey will represent the league with great integrity and honor!"
James Madison went 10-7 in 2022 while competing as an independent institution after 21 years as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes will compete again as an independent program in 2023, prior to joining the MAC in 2024. The full 2023 schedule is anticipated in the near future.
The 2023 season will be the 39th year the MAC has sponsored women's field hockey as a championship sport. Last season, the Miami RedHawks won its fifth-straight MAC Tournament Title with a 3-1 victory over Appalachian State. The RedHawks defeated Rider, 7-1, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Northwestern in an overtime shootout, 2-1.