Division III is considered the lowest-quality level of NCAA sports because the 447 colleges in the division don’t provide athletic scholarships. The competitors are known to be true student-athletes who play for the love of the game. Most Division III colleges are small institutions with an average enrollment of 2,248 per school. That doesn’t mean, however, that teams don’t take competing seriously. A few Division III colleges have stood out through the years.
Since the mid-1990s, Williams College has been the most successful overall Division III athletic program with 13 NACDA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup first-place finishes through the 2008-09 season. The competition, sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, awards points based on how the school’s sports teams finish in the Division III national championships for that particular sport. The college that earns the most overall points wins the cup, which started during the 1995-96 season in Division III.
Williams College Athletics Lasell Gymnasium 22 Spring St. Williamstown, MA 01267 (413) 597-2366 williams.prestosports.com/landing/index
College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey, known as Trenton State until the 1996-97 school year, has a successful, all-around athletic program. In the NACDA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup through the 2008-09 season, the Lions have finished in second place three times, third place six times and in fourth place two times. The college has stood out in women’s lacrosse, field hockey and wrestling, and each program has won multiple NCAA Division III team championships.
College of New Jersey Athletic Department 2000 Pennington Road Ewing, NJ 08628-0718 (609) 771-2238 tcnjathletics.com/index.aspx
Mount Union College
The highest-profile Division III sport is football with the championship game televised on ESPN each season. Mount Union has won the most championships through the 2009 season with 10 titles, including six wins in seven years from 1996 to 2002. The Purple Raiders also captured 21 Ohio Athletic Conference regular-season championships. The school claims to be the most televised Division III team with regular season football games on the SportsTime Ohio cable station and Canton/Massillion’s WIVM-TV. In all, Mount Union has been on TV more than 100 times.
Mount Union Athletics 1972 Clark Ave. Alliance, OH 44601 (800) 992-6682 muc.edu/Athletics/
A.M. David's articles have appeared in "The Washington Post" and several regional publications in a career spanning more than 15 years. He has also written for the "Princeton Packet" chain. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.