The MAAC prides itself on the accomplishments of its student-athletes in the classroom, as well as on the field. Many top scholar-athletes from the conference have been recognized in the Verizon Academic All-America program, including three of the 10 First Team selections in basketball in 1992-93 to 10 First and Second Team overall selections during the 2002-2003 season. Mary Beth Riley, a 1991 graduate of Canisius, was the first recipient of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. In the fall of 1998, Erin Whalen, a member of the Iona women's rowing team, was awarded one of the nation's 32 Rhodes Scholarships for academic achievement and civic leadership. Jose Vargas, a Loyola student, was also awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.
First-class facilities are the rule with MAAC schools, as teams regularly play in top-notch arenas, such as Madison Square Garden, the Continental Airlines Arena, HSBC Arena, Pepsi Arena and Sovereign Bank Arena. The other MAAC championships boast their share of outstanding locales as well, such as Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, NY, home of the baseball tournament, and the fabled Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where the cross country championships are contested. This year, the MAAC will take its Cross Country as well as Men's and Women's Golf Championships to Orlando, Florida, where it will conduct its post-season championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Future MAAC Championships at Walt Disney World include women's soccer in 2005 and volleyball in 2006.
In the past several years several of the MAAC schools have also enjoyed success in NCAA Tournaments. Rated highly on the national level, the league sent two representatives, Fairfield and Siena, to the 2001 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. MAAC schools have made a total of 66 NIT appearances and 33 NCAA appearances. Combined with recent bracket expansion in several sports, the MAAC possesses 11 automatic bids in men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's golf, men's and women's tennis, and men's lacrosse. In 2003, the Iona College men's cross country team finished fourth - just one point out of third place - at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. In 1995, the Siena women's volleyball team became the first team to represent the MAAC in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament, an achievement duplicated by Fairfield in 1997 through 2001 and Manhattan in 2002 and 2003 as the Stags and Jaspers gained spots with an automatic bid. Canisius softball, Manhattan track, Marist baseball and Loyola soccer and lacrosse have also flourished on the national stage.
The MAAC has also been a leader in the forefront of technology, expanding the notoriety of the league into cyberspace. In 2001, the league retained Host Communications, Inc. to sponsor the MAAC web page. Launched in November 1999, www.maacsports.com has been a great success, providing fans with up-to-date contest results, fan polls and an online merchandise store.
The MAAC President for the 2004-2005 academic year is Fr. Kevin Mackin, O.F.M., the President of Siena College. The Vice-President is Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., the President of Niagara University. Tim Murray, Director of Athletics at Marist College, will chair the Committee on Athletic Administration and Alison Sexton, Assistant Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at Fairfield University will serve as Vice Chair. – less–ZoomInfo