Litz, Wood Elected as NEAC SAAC Officers at Annual Meeting

Litz, Wood Elected as NEAC SAAC Officers at Annual Meeting

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - Mike Litz and Bailey Wood were elected as the NEAC SAAC Officers for the 2018-19 academic year at the annual NEAC SAAC meeting held in Scranton, Pa. earlier this month.

NEAC SAAC representatives and advisors traveled to the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center on Nov. 10-11 to participate in student-athlete development sessions and conduct annual business. This year's meeting included two sessions with Dr. Jarrod Spencer from Mind of the Athlete which highlighted student-athlete mental health, the importance of sleep and how to create an empathic environment. NEAC SAAC representatives also had an opportunity to discuss upcoming NCAA Legislation and determine ways that NEAC SAAC can have a greater impact moving forward.

"I truly appreciate the committment shown by NEAC SAAC at this year's meeting," said NEAC Assistant Commissioner Stephanie Dutton. "Our NEAC SAAC representatives worked hard to determine standards, expectations and positive changes that will make our conference SAAC stronger and more engaged as we move forward. I am eager to see what this group will accomplish with its renewed energy and focus."

In addition to the general business session, NEAC SAAC conducted its annual election to determine its chair and vice-chair. Penn State Abington's Mike Litz was re-elected for a second term as NEAC SAAC Chair, while SUNY Poly's Bailey Wood was selected as the new NEAC SAAC Vice-Chair.

Litz is a junior on the Penn State Abington men's tennis team and is a Finance major. After participating in a Student-Athlete Day of Service at Penn State Abington last year, Litz knew he wanted to help lead student-athlete involvement. In addition to his role of NEAC SAAC Chair, he is a member of the NEAC Strategic Planning Committee and was most recently selected to serve as a member of the Division III National SAAC.

"I'm excited to help lead the transition of making NEAC SAAC a more student-led committee," Litz shared. "I'm also very excited to implement some of the initiatives we discussed over the weekend, including a stronger focus on the mental health of student-athletes, as well as continuing our partnership with Special Olympics."

A sophomore on the SUNY Poly softball team, Wood is pursuing a degree in Nursing. After participating in numerous events during her freshman year, Wood knew she wanted to be more involved in SAAC. As NEAC SAAC Vice-Chair, she will assist in the coordination of SAAC meetings and initiatives while also serving as a student-athlete representative on a variety of NEAC committees.  

"After going to this meeting, I realized I want to make our NEAC SAAC and SUNY Poly SAAC strong while working towards the goals we talked about," Wood added. "I want to see our SAAC program become one of the best in the NCAA."

NEAC SAAC will focus on its Special Olympics Initiative through February 2019 with each institution conducting a variety of events in a partnership with its local Special Olympians. Following the completion of that initiative, NEAC SAAC will turn its attention to student-athlete mental health for the remainder of the year.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.