Loyola (Md.) University has formally accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League in all sports on July 1 for the 2013-14 academic year, President Daniel H. Weiss, who serves as chair of the Patriot League’s Council of Presidents, announced Wednesday.
“Loyola University is an outstanding addition to our membership as a private institution with an excellent academic reputation and rich athletic history,” Weiss said. “The decision to add Loyola reflects the presidents’ commitment to the stability and long-term positioning of the league.”
“It is an honor to join the Patriot League’s distinguished member institutions, all of which consistently demonstrate a profound commitment to excellence both in the classroom and on the field. That commitment is one we share at Loyola, and we see this move as a vital opportunity to continue to elevate our already outstanding athletics programs in keeping with our goal of becoming the nation’s leading Catholic, comprehensive university,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president.
With the addition of Loyola, the Patriot League membership increases to 10 full members: American University, Boston University (joins in 2013-14), Bucknell University, Colgate University, The College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh University, United States Military Academy, and United States Naval Academy. Furthermore, Fordham University and Georgetown University are associate members in football, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in women’s rowing.
The Patriot League was formed as an all-sport conference in 1990-91 after beginning as the football-only Colonial League in 1986. Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, and Lehigh are each founding members. Navy joined for the 1991-92 academic year. Prior to the addition of Boston University in June, American was the last full member to join the league (2001-02).
Loyola will join the Patriot League in the following 17 sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball.
The Greyhounds posted one of the school’s finest seasons on the field in 2011-12, as the men’s lacrosse team won the NCAA title, the women’s lacrosse team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, the men’s basketball team played in the NCAA Tournament, and the men’s golf team earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Eight Greyhound teams – men’s cross country, women’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s rowing, and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field – were in the top 10 percent of NCAA Division I schools in the multi-year tracking of the academic progress rate (APR). In addition, Loyola recorded 100 percent graduation success rate scores for 11 of 14 sports, according to the NCAA report released in October 2011.
“We are delighted to enhance the Patriot League membership to 10 full members with the addition of Loyola University,” said Carolyn Schlie Femovich, Patriot League executive director. “Loyola University further strengthens the league in the southern portion of our footprint. With the addition of both Boston University and Loyola University for the 2013-14 academic year, we believe that the Patriot League has enriched its future both on the field of play and in the classroom.”
“Loyola athletics’ primary mission is to support the development of student-athletes who thrive academically, athletically, spiritually, and socially,” said James Paquette, assistant vice president and director of athletics at Loyola. “The Patriot League embraces and supports those values, and we are thrilled to become partners with the league. Its members’ histories of academic and athletic excellence are impressive and consistent not only with Loyola’s past achievements, but our future ambitions as well.”