WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Five members of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference will compete in the Northern Athletics Conference in the sport of women's golf as associate members beginning this fall season.
UMAC members Bethany Lutheran College, Martin Luther College, University of Minnesota-Morris, Northwestern College (Minn.) and Presentation College will join Aurora University, Benedictine University, Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Lakeland College, Marian University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and Wisconsin Lutheran College at the conference championship each fall.
Commissioners G. Steven Larson (Northern) and Corey Borchardt (UMAC) are looking forward to the cooperative endeavor between the leagues.
"We are very pleased to have the UMAC join us as associate members for women's golf," Larson said. "The missions and principles of both conferences are very compatible. This joint effort will benefit and strengthen the women's golf programs, while the competition level at the conference championship will increase."
The championship will be expanded to a three-round, 54-hole event to meet NCAA requirements. This year's championship will be held Oct. 2-4, at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago, Ill., but the location will alternate geographically from year to year, with next year's event at a northern location to be determined.
"I am excited for the women's golf student-athletes," Borchardt said. "The student-athletes will enjoy an enhanced and expanded conference championship experience as they compete in the Northern Athletics Conference."
Minnesota-Morris has won the last two UMAC championships and Cougars head coach Jana Koehler is looking forward to the expanded competition. "This coming fall season will bring great opportunities for women's golfers from the two conferences. It will be a great motivation for my golfers to work harder and will also be helpful with recruiting prospective student-athletes in the coming years."
"I believe the merger is great for both conferences," said Jeff Loose, head coach of two-time defending champion Concordia Wisconsin and reigning coach of the year.