New Hampshire Football Report

NEC adding football program

Football is returning to New England College.

The school announced Thursday that it plans to field its first football team since 1972 in the fall of 2024. NEC had football for two seasons – 1971 and 1972 – before the sport was eliminated by budget cuts.

NEC has already begun advertising for a head coach. NEC athletic director Dave DeCew said the Pilgrims will likely play an abbreviated junior varsity schedule in 2024 before they embark on a full Division III schedule in 2025. It’s still unclear what conference NEC will join.

“There’s two main factors here,” DeCew said. “One is campus culture and making sure we continue to build around what’s been successful for us, which is athletics, the energy that it brings and everything else that comes with that. The second piece would be enrollment factors.

“As far as conference affiliation we’ve had conversations with a couple different options, and we’re going to continue to evaluate as we move forward to make sure we find the best place for our student-athletes to have the best experience and find success.” 

DeCew said the team will play its games on campus, but the site has yet to be determined. NEC’s previous football teams played on what is now the school’s rugby field.


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