BANGOR, Maine — Husson University and the University of New England have agreed to compete in the sport of football, beginning with a sub-varsity home-and-home series in 2017, Husson Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi and UNE Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack McDonald announced Thursday.
The first varsity competition between the two institutions will take place Sept. 8, 2018, in Biddeford. The following year, UNE will travel to Bangor for a Sept. 14 contest at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex. The Nor’easters will host Husson in 2020, and the Eagles will be the home site in 2021.
“We are thrilled about our football relationship with the University of New England. It will be great for Division III football in Maine,” Pergolizzi said in a news release.
“We have had a very good relationship with Husson in all our sports and adding football will give our students and all fans of Maine an additional intercollegiate experience. Special thanks to Husson AD Frank Pergolizzi for making this happen,” McDonald said.
The Eagles will open their 2016 season Sept. 3 at Alfred (New York). The Nor’easters will start their inaugural varsity season in 2017.
The agreement with Husson is UNE’s second with a non-conference opponent. McDonald announced last August an arrangement with the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Nor’easters will begin competing in the Commonwealth Coast Conference in 2018.
Former Becker College head coach Mike Litchen was hired to lead UNE’s program in February and looks forward to competing with Husson.
“We are excited about future battles with Husson as we build our program over the next few years,” said Lichten. “Coach [Gabby] Price and his staff have created a winning culture and set a standard of excellence for Division III football in Maine. I look forward to seeing him and his staff across the field as we develop a passionate in-state rivalry starting in 2018.”
Husson competes in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.
Maine’s other NCAA Division III football teams are Colby, Bates, Bowdoin and Maine Maritime Academy. Coby, Bates and Bowdoin are in the New England Small College Athletic Conference while MMA is in the New England Football Conference for one more year before moving to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.