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March 14, 2009

Emmanuel College is very excited to announce the addition of Men's Golf to it's NCAA Division III Intercollegiate Athletic Program as of Fall 2009! According to Emmanuel College Director of Athletics, Pam Roecker, "Men's golf is a perfect fit for our institution, and a competitive sport within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). We have responded to interest expressed from prospective student-athletes over the last several years, and we believe that we will have the opportunity to field a competitive team in a short period of time."

The Saints men's golf program, under newly appointed head coach, Julio Avila, will primarily practice at Franklin Park. Also known as the William J. Devine Golf Course, this 18-hole public golf facility is the second oldest public course in America. Franklin Park measures 6,009 yards from the blue tees, 5,622 yards from the white tees, and 5,240 yards from the reds, and it is located only 20 minutes from campus.

"Coach Avila, a passionate and talented golfer in his own right, is a great choice to start this program," said Roecker. "Coach Avila, the former and inaugural Saints men's soccer coach, has invaluable experience with starting a varsity program and is very enthusiastic and confident about the future." Avila will begin contacting all prospective student-athletes who have expressed an interest in golf, as well as surveying interest in the current student body in preparation for next fall.

In addition to Emmanuel, the GNAC schools sponsoring men's golf include Johnson & Wales, St. Joseph's (ME), Suffolk, with additional affiliate members: Rhode Island College, UMASS-Dartmouth and Southern Maine. The addition of men's golf, which will compete for an NCAA automatic bid as a member of GNAC, brings the total number of Emmanuel College varsity athletic teams to 15.

"The Great Northeast Athletic Conference is ecstatic to learn that Emmanuel College will be adding men's golf for the 2009 season. Over the past three years the GNAC has grown its championship offerings from 11 to 15 sports and a 16th (men's lacrosse) will begin in 2011. Emmanuel's decision to add golf assists the GNAC in maintaining this newly acquired NCAA automatic qualification. The GNAC and the member institutions value the opportunity to participate in the national championship and I feel confident that Emmanuel will be a contender for the championship very quickly," said GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh.