Mount Holyoke College Athletics Overview

Mount Holyoke College offers 13 varsity sports programs and number of competitive club sports teams. A member of the NCAA Division III and the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), Mount Holyoke College competes among many top-ranked teams and long-time local rivals.

The College is dedicated to the NCAA Division III philosophy of making athletics an integral part of the educational experience and creating an opportunity for student-athletes to become well-rounded individuals. Emphasis on academic excellence is also a defining criterion for membership in the NEWMAC, which includes Babson College, Clark University, the United States Coast Guard Academy, MIT, Smith College, Springfield College, Wellesley College, Wheaton College and WPI in addition to Mount Holyoke.


To provide a broad range of diverse educational, recreational, and competitive physical activities
for the Mount Holyoke College community.


To provide and expand the motivation, confidence, physical competence, and knowledge to
value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for a successful and healthy life of purposeful engagement.

Our varsity athletics program is integral to the educational process and strives to provide challenging, meaningful, and competitive experiences for student-athletes. We seek to enhance life skills and develop values that foster teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership as well as develop their talents to the highest degree possible.

Our physical education program is committed to providing quality instruction in a wide range of activities. Participation allows each student to develop a basic proficiency in a lifetime sport or physical activity and understand the components of fitness and how they relate to wellness. Students will increase their level of comfort and confidence in and through movement.

Our department is committed to providing and maintaining facilities and programming that support the recreational and fitness needs of the MHC community. In collaboration with the Office of Student Involvement, the department also supports competitive opportunities through club sport participation.

Why Lyons?

Mount Holyoke's nickname, the Lyons, is in tribute to the College's founder, Mary Lyon. In 1837, Mary Lyon founded the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which has since become Mount Holyoke College. Lyon created a worldwide model of higher education for women that set Mount Holyoke apart from other female seminaries of the time. She instituted a curriculum equivalent to those at men's colleges, kept the cost of tuition low, and maintained independence from religious affiliations or wealthy sponsors, instead forming a board of trustees to help Mount Holyoke succeed and endure. In 1834, before founding Mount Holyoke, Lyon was a consultant and visiting instructor at the Wheaton Female Seminary, now known as Wheaton College. Wheaton, which is also a member of the NEWMAC, uses Lyon's name for its nickname, as well. Mount Holyoke's mascot is named Paws.

Quick Facts

Director of Athletics: Jodi Canfield
Location: South Hadley, Mass.
Enrollment: 2,100
Nickname: Lyons
Colors: Blue and White
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Conferences: NEWMAC, IHSA, CSA
Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Field HockeyLacrosse, Riding, Rowing, Soccer, Squash, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Kendall Information Desk: 413-538-2284