On Monday, the formation of the new Mountain East Conference was announced. The league includes several current WVIAC members, but not all.
Davis & Elkins was one of the West Virginia Conference schools that found itself without a league when the initial news of the new conference forming was released in June.
The Senators have found a home.
Tuesday evening, D&E announced that it is joining Alderson-Broaddus in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. WVIAC school Ohio Valley University will also become a member of the GMAC. D&E and A-B have a 90 year history of competing. Everyone is excited to see that continue.
D&E Athletic Director Ronnie Palmer said the process of becoming a member of the GMAC started more than two months ago with an official visit from the conference. From there, it was a courting process.
The Senators like the GMAC because moving to that conference is what's best for the student-athletes. The move also appeals to all of the D&E student body.
"What it does for us at Davis & Elkins, it opens up a new area, as far as recruiting, not only for our athletic teams, but for our traditional students as well," said Palmer. "It gets us into Ohio quite a bit more. It's going to get us into Kentucky and obviously down into Tennessee as well, which is an area we try to grow, regionally, to draw students from."
D&E see the new conference as a fresh start and athletic staff already have a new attitude about the move. Palmer said it's a very exiting time at D&E and the move to the GMAC just fits with the current atmosphere. D&E has had the biggest incoming freshman class, ever, each of the last four years. The Senators also have several new sports facilities including the completely redone soccer fields, the golf training facility and upgrades to the McDonald Center.
Athletically, the GMAC was a good decision for D&E because the conference makes a regional footprint and it's make up of private, like-minded institutions like Davis & Elkins.
The Senators will start competing in the GMAC in the 2013-2014 athletic year. The 2012-2013 schedules will not be effected.