Henniker, NH – New England College will reinstate NCAA varsity alpine skiing beginning with the ski season of 2015-16. In addition, NEC will hire a full-time coach in the fall of 2014. The ski coach will recruit throughout the upcoming academic year as New England College plans to field competitive squads in both men’s and women’s alpine racing.
“The alpine skiing program and the College’s proximity to Pats Peak allow for a unique opportunity for New England College to renew its commitment to skiing,” said President Michele Perkins.
New England College will have its home training course at the local Henniker mountain, Pats Peak. Pats Peak will provide the perfect atmosphere for training with some of the longest and steepest pitches in southern New Hampshire. The mountain is conveniently located just minutes from the College. The U.S. National Slalom Championships were held at Pats Peak in 1974.
Today, Pats Peak features one of the highest capacity computer controlled snowmaking systems per acre in the Northeast. The history of skiing at New England College is a long and storied one. In 1967 the first men’s ski team was started at New England College. The team raced as a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Division II until 1972 when the team became Division I. In 1974 the men’s ski team became the first program in NEC history to qualify for an NCAA national tournament. The women’s team was also established in 1967 and began skiing at the Division I level in 1980. The men’s and women’s teams eventually combined for seven NCAA championship appearances. NEC currently has 13 alumni (two women and 11 men) who have been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
NEC will compete as the tenth member of the MacConnell Division of the Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference. The MacConnell Division schools are members of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association and emphasize the team performance concept. Conference qualifiers participate in the USCSA regional events and may qualify for the U.S. Collegiate Skiing Championships.
About New England College
New England College emphasizes experiential learning as an essential component in the development of an enduring academic community. Building upon a strong liberal arts foundation, we challenge our students to reach their full potential through informed discourse and the pursuit of excellence in a framework of academic freedom. New England College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The Teacher Education Program (and the majors in Elementary Education, Physical Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education) are approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education.