FREDERICKSBURG, Va.— Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Commissioner Jeff Ligney and Carnegie Mellon University Director of Athletics Josh Centor announced on Thursday (June 27) that the school's men's golf program has been accepted as an associate member of the league, effective immediately.
"Joining the CAC is an excellent opportunity for our men's golf program and we are proud to join such a fantastic league" said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "Carnegie Mellon will now have a chance to compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, something we have not previously had the opportunity to do in this sport. As we work toward competing for a national championship, we think this is an important mark for our program."
Carnegie Mellon, located in Pittsburgh, is a founding member of the University Athletic Association (UAA) since 1986 and will continue that relationship, while moving men's golf to the CAC. The men's golf program finished last season at the seventh ranked team in the country and captured its lone conference championship in 2009.
"The CAC is excited to have Carnegie Mellon join us as an affiliate member in men's golf," Ligney stated. "The Carnegie Mellon men's golf program is a highly competitive program in Division III and we look forward to the Tartans once again raising the level of competition in the CAC."
Formed in 1989, the CAC has six full-time member institutions beginning in 2019-20 located in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Carnegie Mellon will compete with full-time members Christopher Newport, Mary Washington, Southern Virginia, York and associate members Babson and New Jersey City to give the league seven schools that sponsor men's golf in 2019-20.
Under the direction of head coach Dan Rodgers, who is entering his fourth season at the helm, the Tartans recorded the program's best finish on the national stage when they finished 11th at the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships. It marked the third NCAA Championship appearance and second in the last three seasons for the program. Rodgers also coached the first Tartan to be named a PING First Team All-American in Jason Li, as the sophomore finished the championships 11th individually, which was the highest individual finish in program history.
"This is great news for our program and we look forward to the competiveness of the CAC," said Rodgers, a two-time Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year honoree. "The chance to play alongside these institutions for a bid to the NCAA Championship will continue the growth of our program."