Justin Baxter (above) and Bryn Athyn are joining the new-look CSAC in 2018-19. (Photo: Fredrik Bryntesson/Bryn Athyn College)
Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
The Colonial States Athletic Conference announced Wednesday the acceptance of Bryn Athyn College and Wilson College as full members of the conference starting in July 2018.
Bryn Athyn and Wilson previously played in the South Division of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and will join Cairn University, Cedar Crest College, Centenary University, Clarks Summit University, Keystone College, Notre Dame (Md.) and Rosemont College in the new-look league next year.
Notre Dame and Cedar Crest, both women’s-only schools, do not have men’s basketball programs.
Bryn Athyn competed in men’s basketball for the first time in 2013-14. After a 10-13 inaugural seasons, the team won six games in each of its next two campaigns. Fifth-year coach Justin Baxter led the Lions to a 10-16 record in 2016-17.
Baxter has several local ties. He was a player at Pennsbury High School and Arcadia University. He also spent time as an assistant at Neumann University and the University of the Sciences.
"We are honored to be joining a respected conference like the CSAC," he told CoBL via email. "We are looking forward to competing with their terrific institutions in 2018-19."
Wilson coach Brian Zoeller took over a three-win team in 2015. He has led Wilson to a 13-35 in his two seasons as head coach. Zoeller played point guard at Chambersburg Area Senior High School before going to Penn State, where he competed for the women’s basketball squad’s male practice team.
This won’t be the last move on the area’s Division III landscape.
In June, the CSAC announced five members -- Neumann, Cabrini, Gwynedd Mercy, Immaculata and Marywood -- will leave the league after the 2017-18 academic year.
The departures provide a significant blow to the CSAC’s men’s basketball league. Neumann, Cabrini, Gwynned Mercy and Immaculata were four of the top five men’s basketball teams in the CSAC last year. Those schools have combined to win the league’s last 10 titles.
Last year’s league champions, Neumann, hosted an NCAA Tournament regional for the first time.
It is still not confirmed what the new league will be, or who exactly it will consist of.
D3sports.com reported in early June that a total of eight teams from the CSAC, Capital Athletic Conference and Middle Atlantic Conference will leave their respective conferences to form a new league. Marymount University, Wesley College and Arcadia University will join Neumann, Cabrini, Gwynned Mercy, Immaculata and Marywood, according to the report.
Arcadia is currently without a school president, and sources tell CoBL that the Knights will be unable to join the new league until they find on