Carlow University Athletics to Join NCAA Division III

Contact: Karina Graziani
Associate Director of Athletics, Public Relations & Communications Manager
Phone: 412-578-6310

Move to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference to provide ample opportunity for growth of University’s athletic offerings

PITTSBURGH – Carlow University has announced plans to shift athletic conferences in an exploratory year to begin in Fall 2022. The Carlow Celtics will join the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a Division III university in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC).

The Celtics committed to regularly scheduled games with the River States Conference (RSC) through the 2022-23 season as they transition out of the conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The University has been a member of the NAIA since 1982, and a member of the RSC (formerly the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) since 2012.

“We would like to thank the RSC for their partnership and support over the years,” said Louis Zadecky, director of athletics at Carlow University. “We will continue to work with them through the 2022-23 season and remain committed throughout this time.”

The Celtics did not take the decision to upend its long-standing history with both organizations lightly. Tim Phillips, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, selected a review committee comprising student-athletes, staff, coaches and the University’s faculty athletics representative when making this decision. The committee held open forums with athletes, coaches and staff to gauge interest and field questions and concerns about the possibility of moving to the NCAA.

Throughout the course of the process, the committee and University leadership learned that such a shift would lead to several key benefits for Carlow’s student-athletes – chief among those, reduced travel, expenses and missed class time.

“This is an exciting time for Carlow University athletics in our new direction toward possible NCAA and AMCC membership,” said Zadecky. “I believe this partnership will provide a better athletic experience for our student-athletes in regard to competition, shorter travel time, fewer missed classes and an overall better student and campus community experience.”

The Carlow Celtics will become provisional members of the AMCC in 2023-24, pending successful completion of the Division III exploratory year and acceptance into the NCAA provisional member process.

“This outstanding opportunity could not have happened without the tremendous support of President Kathy W. Humphrey, Dr. Tim Phillips, the University Board of Directors and countless campus partners,” added Zadecky. “I can’t express enough gratitude to these individuals who embraced the opportunity and vision to make this a possibility. I believe this partnership will strengthen our athletic department and provide even more opportunities for our student-athletes to succeed on campus and in their future endeavors.”

The NCAA membership timetable means that Carlow would be a full conference member at the start of the 2026-27 academic year. Prior to that, the Celtics would be eligible for all AMCC privileges with the exception of participation in post-season events where the conference holds an automatic bid to the Division III tournament.

“I would like to thank NCAA DIII Associate Director Dr. Eric Hartung, AMCC Commissioner Donna Ledwin and AMCC campus administrators and directors for their confidence in Carlow University to provide us an opportunity to be a part of their organizations,” said Zadecky. “Special thanks to our sponsor institution Mount Aloysius College, President John McKeegan and Director of Athletics Kevin Kime for all their support along the way.”

The NCAA and the AMCC agreed Carlow could maintain its dual affiliation with the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), where the Celtics will still have the opportunity to compete in national championships.

“For so many reasons, Carlow is a welcome addition to the AMCC family,” said Donna Ledwin, Commissioner of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. “Because of their location in the middle of our geographic footprint, they already have established relationships with a majority of our member institutions. They bring a menu of sports that work well with what we sponsor or hope to grow. And they have a leadership team that understands the Division III philosophy and what that means in terms of educating the whole student. All of that adds up to a win-win partnership.”

About Carlow University

Located in Oakland, the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district, Carlow University is a private, co-educational, Catholic university founded in 1929 by the Sisters of Mercy. Offering an intimate, personable environment and faculty focused on teaching excellence and experiential learning, Carlow is known for its strong commitment to social justice, ethical forward-thinking leadership and meaningful services that make a positive impact in the community and beyond.

Carlow University is unique in serving babies to age three through its early childhood education center, children PreK to K-8 at its Campus Lab School, and students from high school to age 66 through its campus network and online educational offerings. From undergraduate degree programs to more than 50 graduate, doctoral and certificate programs, Carlow students graduate ready to meet today’s workforce demands for specialized knowledge and skills. Approximately, 96% of Carlow undergraduate alumni are enrolled in an advanced degree program or employed within six months of graduation.

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