Dan Covell, "The New England Small College Athletic Conference: A History" in conversation with John Biddiscombe

Tuesday, March 28, 2023
5:00 PM (ET)
Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Event Type
Bookstore Event
(860) 685 - 3939

Dan Covell on the History of the NESCAC

With Former Wesleyan Athletic Director John Biddiscombe


The New England Small College Athletic Conference has won glowing appraisals in the sporting press since its founding in 1971. Established to strengthen intercollegiate sports in harmony with the high academic standards of its members—11 prestigious liberal arts colleges—the NESCAC is committed to equity and inclusion in athletic programs, and to providing only need-based financial aid. The Conference’s reputation attracts many gifted student athletes. Drawing extensively on campus archives, media reports and interviews, The New England Small College Athletic Conference: A History compares the NESCAC’s lofty strategy to reality, with a focus on recruiting, admissions, financial aid and diversity goals.

Dan Covell is a professor of sport management in the College of Business at Western New England University. He earned his undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Bowdoin College in 1986 (where he also lettered in football).

After working in public and private secondary education as a coach, teacher and athletic administrator, Covell earned his MS in sport management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass) in 1995. After a one-year administrative internship in Harvard University athletic department, Covell then earned his PhD from UMass in 1999.

His primary research interests are management issues in intercollegiate and secondary school athletics, with a recent track toward historical perspectives on these issues.

John Biddiscombe received a BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Springfield College and a MED in Physical Education at Slippery Rock State University. He was chair for the NCAA Division III Management Council and a member of the NCAA Council from 2000-2002. John served as a two-sport coach and athletic director at the secondary school and college level coached football and wrestling for 28 years. He retired from Wesleyan University as Adjunct Professor Emeritus after serving as the Chair of Physical Education Department and Athletics Director for 23 years. Overall, John has 48 years of coaching, teaching, athletic administration and consulting.


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