Finlandia joins UMAC in football
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference announced Friday that the Council of Presidents and Chancellors approved Finlandia University joining as an associate football member beginning with the 2021 season.
“I couldn’t be more pleased that we were able to work out this arrangement,” said Finlandia athletic director Curtis Wittenberg. “The UMAC is a great fit for us regionally in terms of travel. In addition, the mission, values and beliefs of the UMAC schools fits in perfectly with us.”
With the addition of Finlandia, the UMAC will maintain its automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Div. III championship for football with seven total members sponsoring the sport.
“We are excited to have Finlandia University join the UMAC as an associate football member next fall,” UMAC commissioner Corey Borchardt said. “Finlandia and the UMAC successfully engaged in scheduling agreements in the past, and our membership anticipates Finlandia will now be a viable, contributing associate member in our football conference.”
Beginning in 2021, UMAC football teams will play a six-game regular season conference schedule beginning in week five. Each team will have one bye during the conference portion of the schedule.
Finlandia announced the addition of football as a varsity sport in 2014 and kicked off its inaugural season in 2015 as an independent NCAA Div. III member.
The Lions joined the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association as an affiliate member in 2018 and will complete their membership in the MIAA with the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year.