Chartered in 1812, Hamilton College is the only New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) school located outside of New England, calling Clinton, N.Y. home. Hamilton College pays homage to founding father Alexander Hamilton, the namesake of the school. Hamilton’s school colors are buff and blue, in reference to the colors of the New York Regiment of the Army. Hamilton teams are known as the Continentals. The first Continentals to win a national championship was the women’s lacrosse team in 2008, which to date remains their only national championship.
Located in New London, Conn., and one of three NESCAC schools from the Constitution State, Conn. College is the youngest school in the conference both in terms of year of founding (1911) and the year they joined the NESCAC (1982). Conn. College’s official colors are dark blue and white, and its mascot is the camel. Conn. College is the only NESCAC school without a football team, as it was an all-women’s college until 1969. The Camels have never won a team national championship, although they have had some success in individual sports with seven national champions.
One of the oldest schools in NESCAC, Williams is located in Williamstown, Mass. and was founded in 1793. The Ephs, a shortened name of the founder of the school, have purple and gold as their school colors. The Ephs are one of the most successful teams in the conference with 36 national championships, nine of which come from the women’s rowing team, including an eight-year streak from 2006 to 2013. The Ephs also dominate women’s tennis, earning the most NCAA titles in a sport (10). Overall, Williams is a powerhouse in the conference: Last year, it captured NESCAC titles in women’s golf, softball and women’s cross country (all for the third consecutive year), women’s tennis (for the fourth year in a row), women’s swimming and diving and women’s track and field both for the 17th time in the past 18 years. It also emerged victorious in women’s soccer and men’s basketball. However, just this year, the Jumbos ended the Ephs’ 15-year hold on the NESCAC Championship in men’s swimming and diving.
Trinity College is located in Hartford, Conn. and was founded in 1823. The school mascot is the Bantam, and its school colors are navy blue and old gold. In 2008, the Bantams boasted a 45–1 baseball record, capped off by winning the national championship. The Bantams also continuously boast one of the strongest programs in the NESCAC, including back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017 in men’s hockey and football. Trinity’s men’s squash program is one of the strongest in the nation, winning 252 consecutive games from 1998 to 2012, as well as winning 17 of the last 20 national championships.
Founded in Lewiston in 1855, Bates is one of the three Maine-based schools in the NESCAC. The Bobcats wear garnet, black and grey. The Bobcats’ rowing teams are by far the school’s most successful sports teams: The men’s team captured three of the last four NESCAC championships, while the women’s team are four-of-five, adding three national championships along the way. Alumnus Andrew Byrnes won a gold medal while rowing with team Canada at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. However, apart from rowing, Bates has little to show for its efforts, mustering only one other conference championship in the last 10 years when its men’s track and field team finished first in 2012.
Bowdoin’s athletic successes can be summed in two words: field hockey. The Polar Bears are four-time national champions and eight-time NESCAC champions. Head coach Nicky Pearson has been named NESCAC Coach of the Year a record nine times. The coastal Maine school residing in the town of its namesake boasts cold winters and a Polar Bear mascot along with black and white uniforms. Its men’s tennis team also experienced recent success as two-time defending conference champions. The team is the only other sport to win a national championship (in 2016), but it lost last year’s NCAA championship match to Middlebury, 5–3. The women’s basketball team also made it to the national finals last year, only to lose to defending champions Amherst 65–45.
One of two NESCAC schools to only have captured one national championship since its founding (the other one being Hamilton), Colby is not known for its athletic prowess. However, its women’s lacrosse team stands out having won three NESCAC titles since 2008. The White Mules wear colby blue and priscilla gray and is the third NESCAC school based in Maine, calling the small town of Waterville home.
Founded in 1800, the Middlebury Panthers proudly flaunt the colors of blue and white. They found success during the 2017-18 season in sports such as women’s lacrosse when the team claimed its ninth NESCAC championship. The Panthers were a men’s lacrosse powerhouse between 2001 and 2007, winning seven NESCAC titles before the Jumbos surpassed that record in 2018. The program also boasts five conference championships in women’s field hockey and eight in men’s ice hockey.
The Mammoths feature a deep pool of talent across its various varsity teams that has culminated in a total of 13 national titles. Arguably Amherst’s strongest sport is basketball which makes up five of its national championships. The women’s team is fresh off of an undefeated 33–0 season in which they romped their way to a third-straight conference and second straight national title. The Mammoths, previously known as the Purple and White for their jersey colors, have been very strong in tennis, with the women’s team recording nine NESCAC titles, while the men’s team boasts six.
Located in Middletown, Conn., the Wesleyan Cardinals wrapped up arguably their most successful athletic season of all time, with standout performances from both teams and individuals. The men’s lacrosse team revived itself in the last two years to threaten Tufts, who has dominated not only the NESCAC but also the entire division in the last decade. Wesleyan recovered from a loss to Tufts in the NESCAC championship game in 2018 to defeat Salisbury and win its first ever National Championship. Meanwhile, 2018 graduate Eudice Chong won her fourth consecutive women’s tennis singles title, becoming the first person in NCAA history with four consecutive titles.