WEST BABYLON, N.Y.—East Coast Conference Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff, announced Tusculum University will join the league as an associate member in the sport of women's bowling.

Tusculum will compete in their inaugural season in 2019-20. As an associate member, the Pioneers will be eligible to compete in the ECC Women's Bowling Championship and earn the league's automatic qualification into the NCAA Championship staring this season. Tusculum's student-athletes will also be eligible to win all ECC weekly and yearly awards.

"We are pleased to welcome Tusculum University as an associate member for women's bowling," said Dranoff. "We are excited that our conference continues to be a leader in the growth of intercollegiate women's bowling in the NCAA and adding this new Division II program is another great step for the conference and the sport."

"We are delighted to become an associate member of the East Coast Conference," said Doug Jones, Tusculum's Vice President for Athletics and University Initiatives. "This will provide our student-athletes the opportunity to compete in a conference championship setting. I am grateful to Commissioner Dranoff and the conference’s presidents for affording us this opportunity."

The addition of Tusculum brings the number of schools competing in the largest women's bowling conference in the NCAA to 14 members. The Pioneers become the league's 10th associate member, joining Adelphi University, Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Felician University, Kutztown University, Lincoln Memorial University, Mercyhurst University, and Wilmington University. Four full-time members of the ECC - Daemen College, Molloy College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and St. Thomas Aquinas College also sponsor women's bowling.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our program in our first season to be part of a conference,” said TU head coach Shawn Flanary. “This give us an opportunity for conference play, conference competition and of course playing for a conference championship. Should we have a successful season and compete for that championship, I always look forward to the opportunity to make it to the NCAA postseason.”

Tusculum University is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA and is a NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference.

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