Merrimack is transitioning to Division I. The defending DII national champions will join the NEC in 2019/20 becoming the 11th member of the conference and will be eligible for the league's automatic qualifier starting in 2023/24.
Merrimack is currently a member of the Northeast 10 conference in Division II for this upcoming season in all but two sports and will be able to compete for NE10 championships this year. The Warriors men’s and women’s hockey teams are members of Hockey East in Division I and will stay in that conference. The Warriors will start their membership as members of the NEC beginning in the 2019-20 academic year and will be “incorporated as fully as possible into NEC athletic schedules.”
The school will be a full member of the conference prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year. There is a four-year NCAA Division I reclassification period that the school will have to go through and will be able to participate in NEC championships in non-automatic qualifier sports (lacrosse is not one of them).
“We are thrilled to welcome Merrimack College to the Northeast Conference family!” Morris said in the press release. “From the outset it was extremely evident that President [Christopher] Hopey and the entire campus community had a clear vision to elevate the academic and athletic profile of Merrimack College. With increased investment in resources, capital improvements and personnel, that vision has become a reality with Merrimack’s most successful competitive season in 2017-18 and the college’s largest incoming freshman class ever entering in the fall 2018. We are very excited that the NEC will be the future home of the Warriors!”