MAC votes unanimously, adds UMass as 13th member

The Mid-American Conference announced Thursday that it has officially voted unanimously to add UMass beginning with the 2025-26 season.

The move brings the Minutemen back to the MAC for the first time since 2012-15 when UMass was a football-only affiliate.

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“Today marks a historic moment for the Mid-American Conference as we proudly welcome the University of Massachusetts into our family,” MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher stated in a release. “Adding UMass is an exciting next step as we increase the strength of our collective programs. We are thrilled to welcome their student-athletes, coaches, administrators, alumni and fans to the Conference.  The opportunity to add a state flagship institution with exceptional academics and a storied athletics tradition does not come along often.  I look forward to our collaborative efforts in providing outstanding opportunities for student-athletes to maximize their intellectual and athletic pursuits.”

According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, UMass hockey will remain in Hockey East and lacrosse will “apply to stay in (the Atlantic-10) as an affiliate member.”

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The Minutemen had been an independent in football. Now, they’ll return to the MAC and compete as part of a conference that could yield a participant in the 12-team College Football Playoff.

Notre Dame and UConn remain as the lone two independent teams in college football. Army will become a member of the American Athletic Conference next season.

UMass went 3-9 last season under second-year head coach Don Brown.