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Western New England Headed Back to NCAA Tournament with Third Bid in Program History

Western New England Headed Back to NCAA Tournament with Third Bid in Program History

2016 NCAA DIII Football Tournament Bracket

Golden Bears will host Husson on Saturday (Nov. 19) in first round action

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 13, 2016) – 2016 New England Football Conference (NEFC) champion Western New England University is headed back to the NCAA Division III Tournament, as the Golden Bears received their third bid in program history when the NCAA announced its field of 32 during the selection show this evening.

Western New England (10-0, 7-0 NEFC) will have the opportunity to host an NCAA Tournament contest for the first time next Saturday, November 19, with Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) champion Husson (Maine) University (9-1, 7-0 ECFC) slated to visit Golden Bear Stadium for a first round matchup.   

Western New England will be making consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history after earning the NEFC's automatic bid in the final year of the conference's existence. The Golden Bears clinched the NEFC title with their 41-22 triumph at Salve Regina on November 5, before completing their second straight undefeated regular season yesterday with a 36-29 victory over Coast Guard.

All three of Western New England's trips to the NCAA Tournament have come under 12th year head coach Keith Emery. The Golden Bears made their NCAA debut back in 2011, suffering a 62-24 defeat to Salisbury (Md.), before falling to Johns Hopkins 52-20 last November. Husson, which boasts the nation's top-ranked defense (152.4 YPG), is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the second time and first since 2014.

The NCAA Tournament gets underway with first round action on November 19 and continues over the next four weekends, with the Division III champion being crowned at the Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va. on Friday, December 16.