Wells College Athletics History

As part of our commitment to honor and recognize the student-athletes of year's past and their accomplishments, the Department of Athletics has begun to accumulate and gather a wide range of materials from across the campus to include in our online archives for all of Express Nation to view.

With greater than a century of athletic achievements at Wells worthy of recognition, we seek out and welcome the help of our alumni base and encourage the submission of archived statistics, photographs, momentos and memories.

For information on how to submit historical artifacts to the department, please reach out to Assistant Athletic Director Griffin Spencer via e-mail (griffinspencer@wells.edu) or by telephone (315-364-3410).


Athletics has been a key component of the Wells College experience for each student dating back to the institution's establishment in 1868. Historically, athletics has played a vital role for many students and for the spirit of the school itself, whether as on an intercollegiate team, as an intramural activity, or through a physical education experiece.

Traditions and rituals at Wells involving athletics are an important part of the collegiate experience for incoming students. The school's annual Odd/Even basketball game, annually drawing large crowds of current students and alumni alike, was first played in 1898. Over the years, Wells has sponsored a wide variety of sports to varying degrees, including field hockey, sailing, bowling, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and swimming.

A member of the Private College Athletic Conference throughout the late-1970's and early-1980's, Wells joined local schools including St. John Fisher College, Elmira College, Eisenhower College and Nazareth College in what was one of the premier conferences in the state of New York at that time. The Express captured four consecutive conference championships in tennis (1977-78, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81) while also winning back-to-back titles in bowling (1978-79, 1979-80).

Wells, who officially became an NCAA Division III institution prior to the 1986-87 athletic season, joined the Atlantic Women's Collegiate Conference prior to the 1996-97 athletic season. Within the AWCC, Wells competed against eight area all-women's colleges who were all committed to promoting the highest level of excellence in academics and athletics for women through the regular and post-season competition amongst its members. In 1996, the Wells soccer team captured the school's only AWCC championship title.

As part of the Board of Trustees decision to begin accepting men to the traditionally all-women's college, Wells incorporated men's soccer, men's swimming and men's and women's cross country into their athletic cadre. Prior to 2005, the Express offered only six intercollegiate athletic sports - field hockey, softball, women's lacrosse, women's soccer, women's swimming and women's tennis.

Prior to the 2007-08 academic year, the Express were invited to join the North Eastern Athletic Conference and compete against 14 other schools in the East Region. In joining the NEAC, Wells was able to compete for conference championships with the added benefit of receiving an automatic qualifier in select sports to participate in the NCAA tournament.

Since joining the NEAC, Wells has captured seven separate conference championships - men's swimming laid claim to the first league title in 2009-10 and earned their second title in 2012-13. Women's swimming won three-straight conference championships from 2011 to 2014. Men's basketball, who won the NEAC championship in 2010-11, was the first team from Wells to participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Additionally, the women's basketball team hoisted the NEAC Championship trophy and played against the reigning 2013-14 NCAA Division III Champions from FDU-Florham in the First Round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament.

In 2015, the Wells College field hockey program won its first-ever conference championship in its 40th year of varsity-level competition.





At Wells College, maintaining ties with our former student-athletes is extremely important to us! It is our goal to maintain an accurate and up-to-date database of our student-athletes, both past and present. Please click on the button below to fill out the Alumnae/Alumni Questionnaire.