D-III Game at MetLife

November 8, 2018
The New York City Chapter of the National Football Foundation (NYC/NFF) announced today that it will host the 2019 Cortaca Jug game between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland in MetLife Stadium as part of the organization's 150th Anniversary of College Football celebration. The Division III football rivalry between the two schools has been referred to as "the biggest little game in the nation." Next year will mark the 61st time that the two schools — located just 21 miles apart from each other in Upstate New York — have squared off for the Cortaca Jug. Ithaca College will serve as the host for the 2019 game, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 with a 1 p.m. kickoff time.

Four graduates of Ithaca College currently serve on the board of directors of the NFF New York City ChapterMarc Hudak '90 (chairman), Bob Garone '87 (founding board member), Jim Bradley '92 (director of communications), and Ethan Medley '01, who also serves as director of community relations for the New York Giants.

Hudak was a team captain and anchored the offensive line for Ithaca's 1988 NCAA Division III championship team, earning four All-American honors during his career. He is a member of the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame. He has held numerous roles with the NFF and is a past president of the Ithaca College Alumni Association Board of Directors.

"Bringing 'the biggest little game in the nation' to the metropolitan New York City area is going to give these two schools an opportunity to put their rivalry on the biggest of stages and share their great tradition with the rest of the country," said Hudak. "Our organization exists to support the game of amateur football and recognize those who exemplify athletic excellence, academic performance and good citizenship. Given this, inviting the Ithaca College Bombers and SUNY Cortland Red Dragons to play the 2019 Cortaca Jug game in MetLife Stadium seemed like a perfect way to celebrate the sesquicentennial of college football."

Garone was also an All-American offensive lineman for the Bombers during their great run from 1984-1986 that saw the Bombers lost just four games in three years with a Stagg Bowl appearance in 1985. Garone bleeds Bomber blue and has seen all three of his children attend Ithaca College: daughter Carly '15, son Bobby Jr. '16, a starting center for the Bombers during his career, and youngest son Nicholas '20, a standout linebacker on the current team.

"This is a great day to be a Bomber! I am thrilled that my son and his teammates will get a chance to play in MetLife Stadium and that all of our family and friends downstate will be able to experience the Cortaca Jug tradition next season".

Founded in 1947, the National Football Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. College Football 150th Anniversary is a nonprofit corporation formed to plan and administer a national celebration of 150 seasons of collegiate football in 2019. The commemoration will showcase the rich history and traditions of the sport and its contribution to American society and culture, while also promoting the opportunity it continues to provide to thousands of student-athletes across all levels.

"The New York City Chapter of the National Football Foundation deserves huge praise for capitalizing on the 150th anniversary of college football to stage the Cortaca Jug game at Met Life Stadium," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "The game will provide the memory of a lifetime for the Ithaca and Cortland student-athletes, and it also creates a really special platform for engaging the alumni from both schools. This is a huge win for everybody, and it's a great showcase for what's so special about college football. We hope other colleges around the country will follow suit with a wide array of special events next year that will help us celebrate our great game."

"As the National Football Foundation celebrates 150 years of college football with season-long celebrations in 2019, we are honored to have this incredible rivalry be among the featured games," said Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports at Ithaca College. "We intend to make this a college-wide celebration and demonstration of excellence, as we engage both the current campus community and our alumni — some 17,000 of whom live in the Greater New York City area. It is our collective goal to break the current record of 37,355 fans in attendance at a Division III football game."

"This is an incredibly exciting moment in a storied rivalry already full of amazing memories," said Mike Urtz, SUNY Cortland director of athletics. "The Cortaca Jug game is the best that small-college football has to offer and is deserving of a first-class venue such as MetLife Stadium. We are looking forward to watching Cortland's great alumni and fans, along with Ithaca's, set a new Division III attendance record."
 
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