ABOUT SJC ATHLETICS
Saint Joseph’s College offers 19 varsity sports programs and is a member of the NCAA Division III and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Monks compete among many top-ranked teams and long-time local rivals during the teams’ respective regular seasons and consistently advance into conference tournament play.
Saint Joseph’s is dedicated to the NCAA DIII philosophy of making athletics an integral part of the educational experience and creating an opportunity for student-athletes to become well-rounded individuals. The College also places an emphasis on the primary tenets of the GNAC: Community, Sportsmanship and Integrity.
The GNAC includes institutions from all six New England states: Albertus Magnus College (CT), Anna Maria College (MA), Emmanuel College (MA), Johnson & Wales University (RI), Lasell College (MA), Mount Ida College (MA), Norwich University (VT), Rivier College (NH), Saint Joseph College (CT), Simmons College (MA) and Suffolk University (MA) in addition to Saint Joseph’s College.
In all, fifteen St. Joe’s programs participate in the GNAC: men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, golf, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball in the fall; men’s and women’s basketball and women’s swimming in the winter; and baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse and softball in the spring.
Currently, the Saint Joseph's men's and women's indoor and outdoor track & field teams do not have a conference affiliation.
Saint Joseph’s College became a co-educational institution in 1970 and shortly thereafter announced the addition of an athletics program. The effort to establish a successful athletics program was spearheaded by the college’s first Athletic Director, Chris Kiernan, who also served as the Director of Admissions and Head Coach of the men’s basketball program at St. Joe’s.
The men’s basketball program, which played an exhibition schedule in the winter of 1970-71 before playing a varsity slate the next year, was the first varsity sport at Saint Joseph’s. Baseball and softball were added in the spring of 1975 and women’s basketball followed in 1977. Women’s volleyball became a varsity sport in 1978 and cross country began at St. Joe’s in 1980.
Women’s soccer was added in 1988, while men’s soccer and golf were both added to the fall docket at Saint Joseph’s in 1990. Field hockey came to St. Joe’s in 1995 as the 11th Monks’ varsity program. Finally, men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and men’s and women’s swimming programs were added in 2008 to bring the total to 15 varsity squads. Indoor and outdoor track & field teams, for men and women, were elevated to varsity status prior to the 2012-13 academic year.
The Saint Joseph’s athletics program started out as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Division II, in 1971 and gained NCAA DIII status in 1974. The Monks had a dual affiliation with the NAIA and NCAA until attaining NCAA DIII Independent status in 2003.
All SJC teams competed as NCAA Independent programs - other than the SJC baseball program, which joined the North Atlantic Conference as an associate member in 2005 - until Saint Joseph’s joined the GNAC in the fall of 2007. Men’s lacrosse played as an independent team in 2008 and participated in the NAC for two seasons before joining the GNAC in 2011. Field hockey played as a member of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) for six years (2008-13) and entered GNAC play in the fall of 2014.
WHY THE MONKS?
The athletics teams’ nickname can be attributed to men’s basketball uniforms donated by Assumption Preparatory, which adorned the “Monks” name across the front of the jerseys. Saint Joseph’s College is the only college or university in the United States – in any division – to have the Monks, which stands for togetherness, physical and mental discipline and inner energy, as its nickname. More
In 44 years of NCAA participation, Saint Joseph's College Athletic programs have collectively won 114 championships and made 33 appearances at the national level. Throughout the years, the Monks have captured 72 conference titles and 40 regional crowns. Thirty-nine different Saint Joseph's athletes have combined to garner a total of 53 All-America honors in the history of Monks athletics.
Division III Positioning Statement
Follow your passions and discover your potential. The college experience is a time of learning and growth – a chance to follow passions and develop potential. For student-athletes in Division III, this hap-pens most importantly in the classroom and through earning an academic degree. The Division III experience provides for passionate participation in a competitive athletic environment, where student-athletes push themselves to excellence and build upon their academic success with new challenges and life skills. And student-athletes are encouraged to pursue the full spectrum of opportunities avail-able during their time in college. In this way, Division III provides an integrated environment for student-athletes to take responsibility for their own paths, follow their passions and find their potential through a comprehensive educational experience.