Not even two months removed from the men's basketball program's first Division I NCAA tournament bid, the University of Hartford is heading back down the college athletics ladder.
Hartford's Board of Regents voted to drop its athletic teams from Division I to Division III on Thursday, per Alex Putterman of the Hartford Courant. The move is set to take place "no later than Sept. 1, 2025," according to Putterman.
“Intercollegiate athletics has long been an integral part of the University of Hartford student experience and that will not change,” Board of Regents chair David Gordon said in a statement. “At the same time, a move to Division III will allow the University to further strengthen the academic, co-curricular, and wellness experience for all students. While we know this decision will disappoint some members of our community, we remain confident that this shift is in the best long-term interests of the institution and all its students.”
Hartford's men's basketball team finished fourth in the American East regular season standings but won the conference tournament to qualify for the Big Dance for the first time in program history. The Hawks won their last five games to clinch the bid before losing to eventual champion Baylor, 79-55, in the first round.
“The University of Hartford owes so much to the generations of student-athletes and athletics staff who have added immeasurably to our community and are a source of pride for the University,” Hartford President Gerogry S. Woodward said. “As we transition to this new model for Intercollegiate athletics in the coming years, I am energized by the opportunities we will have to support the success of all of our students, including our student-athletes.”
Hartford currently has 17 varsity teams—eight men's and nine women's. Most teams participate in the American East, with the men's golf team participating in the Big Sky and the women's golf team competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
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