ROCHESTER, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Beginning in 2024-25, the Empire 8 Conference, which includes Utica University and Hartwick College, will have two new full members.

SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo announced on Monday, August 21 that they will join the Empire 8 in 2024-25 in all sports, leaving the SUNYAC Conference. Brockport was a founding member of the SUNYAC in 1958, while Geneseo joined that conference a year later.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Brockport and Geneseo as core members of the Empire 8,” Empire 8 Executive Commissioner Chuck Mitrano said in a statement. “Both institutions have excellent academic profiles, field competitive teams, and are committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience. Like our current members, their athletes are highly accomplished in the classroom and active in their communities. Both institutions are passionate about the role intercollegiate athletics plays in the educational mission developing young women and men into well-rounded future leaders. Moreover, they fit into our geographic footprint enabling us to retain and strengthen opportunities for our student-athletes while being fiscally responsible. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary and reflect on our history, this is an exciting look into a very bright future for the Empire 8.”

Brockport will join the Empire 8 in 20 of the conference’s 23 sports. Gymnastics and wrestling will remain in their current conferences, while the ice hockey team will announce their affiliation at a later date. Meanwhile, Geneseo will join in 18 of the 19 sports offered at the college, with only equestrian not making the transition. The Knights have finished in the top 25 in the Division III NACDA Director’s Cup – given to the best program in college sports at Division I, II and III – in each of the last six completed years.

“We are thrilled to join the Empire 8 Conference. This move represents a new chapter in SUNY Brockport’s commitment to excellence, competition, and growth,” Brockport Director of Athletics Erick Hart said in a statement. “As we embark on this journey, we look forward to forging strong rivalries, showcasing our student-athletes, and embracing the values of sportsmanship and teamwork that define the Empire 8. Our dedicated athletes, coaches, and staff are poised to make their mark and continue our tradition of success in this dynamic conference.”

The Utica University football team will face Brockport for the first time since the announcement on October 28. Last year, the Pioneers knocked off the Golden Eagles, 35-21.