Colonial Athletic Association

Colonial Athletic Association
Colonial Athletic Association
Colonial Athletic Association logo
Established 1983
Association NCAA
Division Division I FCS
Members 12
Sports fielded 21 (men's: 10; women's: 11)
Region East Coast
Former names ECAC South
Headquarters Richmond, Virginia
Commissioner Tom Yeager (since 1983)
Colonial Athletic Association locations

The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) is a NCAA Division I college athletic conference whose full-time members are located in East Coast states from Massachusetts to Georgia. Most of its members are public universities, with five in Virginia alone, and the conference is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The CAA was historically a Southern conference until the addition of five Northeastern schools (all five from rival conference America East) after the turn of the 21st century, which added balance to the conference.

The CAA was founded in 1983 as the ECAC South basketball league. It was renamed the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985 when it added championships in other sports (although a number of members maintain ECAC affiliation in some sports). As of 2006, it organizes championships in 21 men's and women's sports. The addition of Northeastern University in 2005 gave the conference the NCAA minimum of six football programs needed to sponsor football. For the 2007 football season, all of the Atlantic Ten Conference's football programs joined the CAA football conference, as agreed upon in May 2005.

The CAA has expanded in recent years, following the exits of longtime members such as the United States Naval Academy, University of Richmond, East Carolina University and American University. In 2001, the six-member conference added four additional universities: Towson University, Drexel University, Hofstra University, and the University of Delaware. Four years later the league expanded again when Georgia State University and Northeastern University joined, further enlarging the conference footprint.

On the playing field, the CAA has produced 16 national team champions in five different sports (the most recent being the Villanova Wildcats who won the 2009 Division I FCS football championship), 33 individual national champions, 11 national coaches of the year, 11 national players of the year and 12 Honda Award winners. In 2006, George Mason became the first CAA team to reach the Final Four, and was the first team designated as a true mid-major to make it that far since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. In 2011, the VCU Rams became the second CAA team to reach the Final Four, as well as the first team to win five games enroute, due to their participation in the First Four round.



Full-time members

Institution Location Team Name Founded Type Enrollment Year Joined
University of Delaware Newark, Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens 1743[1] Private/Public 19,390 2001
Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dragons 1891 Private 17,000 2001
George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia Patriots 1957 Public 31,570[2] 1985
Georgia State University Atlanta, Georgia Panthers 1913 Public 30,267 2005
Hofstra University Hempstead, New York Pride 1935 Private 13,000 2001
James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia Dukes 1908 Public 18,971 1985
Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts Huskies 1898 Private 22,942 2005
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia Monarchs 1930 Public 24,125 1991
Towson University Towson, Maryland Tigers 1866 Public 21,840 [3] 2001
University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, North Carolina Seahawks 1947 Public 12,000 1985
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, Virginia Rams 1838 Public 32,284[4] 1995
The College of William & Mary Williamsburg, Virginia Tribe 1693 Public 7,700 1985
Locations of current Colonial Athletic Association full member institutions.

Associate members

Former members

Membership history timeline

Men's basketball

* Denotes a tie for regular season conference title
Denotes game went into overtime

Regular Season Champions

Note: The conference was known as the ECAC South from 1983–1985.

Season Regular Season Champion Conference Record
1983 William & Mary 9–0
1984 Richmond 7–3
1985 Navy 11–3
1986 Navy 13–1
1987 Navy 13–1
1988 Richmond 11–3
1989 Richmond 13–1
1990 James Madison 11–3
1991 James Madison 12–2
1992 Richmond 12–2
1993 James Madison 11–3
1994 Old Dominion 10–4
1995 Old Dominion 12–2
1996 VCU 14–2
1997 Old Dominion 10–6
1998* William & Mary
UNC Wilmington
1999 George Mason 13–3
2000* George Mason
James Madison
2001 Richmond 12–4
2002 UNC Wilmington 14–4
2003 UNC Wilmington 15–3
2004 VCU 14–4
2005 Old Dominion 15–3
2006* George Mason
UNC Wilmington
2007 VCU 16–2
2008 VCU 15–3
2009 VCU 14–4
2010 Old Dominion 15–3
2011 George Mason 16–2

History of the Tournament Final

Year CAA Champions Score Runner-Up Tournament MVP Venue
1983 James Madison 41–38 William & Mary Derek Steele, JMU Robins Center (Richmond, VA)
1984 Richmond 74–55 Navy Johnny Newman, UR Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
1985 Navy 85–76 Richmond Vernon Butler, Navy William & Mary Hall (Williamsburg, VA)
1986 Navy 72–61 George Mason David Robinson, Navy Patriot Center (Fairfax, VA)
1987 Navy 53–50 James Madison David Robinson, Navy Hampton Coliseum (Hampton, VA)
1988 Richmond 73–70 George Mason Peter Wollfolk, UR Hampton Coliseum (Hampton, VA)
1989 George Mason 78–72 UNC Wilmington Kenny Sanders, GMU Hampton Coliseum (Hampton, VA)
1990 Richmond 77–72 James Madison Ken Atkinson, UR Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1991 Richmond 81–78 George Mason Jim Shields, UR Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1992 Old Dominion 78–73 James Madison Ricardo Leonard, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1993 East Carolina 54–49 James Madison Lester Lyons, ECU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1994 James Madison 77–76 Old Dominion Odell Hodge, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1995 Old Dominion 80–75 James Madison Petey Sessoms, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1996 VCU 46–43 UNC Wilmington Bernard Hopkins, VCU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1997 Old Dominion 62–58 James Madison Odell Hodge, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1998 Richmond 79–64 UNC Wilmington Daryl Oliver, UR Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1999 George Mason 63–58 Old Dominion George Evans, GMU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2000 UNC Wilmington 57–47 Richmond Brett Blizzard, UNCW Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2001 George Mason 35–33 UNC Wilmington Erik Herring, GMU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2002 UNC Wilmington 66–51 VCU Brett Blizzard, UNCW Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2003 UNC Wilmington 70–62 Drexel Brett Blizzard, UNCW Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2004 VCU 55–54 George Mason Domonic Jones, VCU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2005 Old Dominion 73–66 VCU Alex Loughton, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2006 UNC Wilmington 78–67 Hofstra TJ Carter, UNCW Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2007 VCU 65–59 George Mason Eric Maynor, VCU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2008 George Mason 68–59 William & Mary Folarin Campbell, GMU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2009 VCU 71–50 George Mason Eric Maynor, VCU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2010 Old Dominion 60–53 William & Mary Gerald Lee, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
2011 Old Dominion 70-65 VCU Frank Hassell, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)

The tournament will be held at the Richmond Coliseum through the 2013-14 season under an extension signed in September 2010.[5]

Men's Tournament Championships and appearances in CAA Tournament Finals by School

School Championships Finals Appearances Years
Old Dominion 6 8 1992, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2010, 2011
Richmond 5 7 1984, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1998
George Mason 4 10 1989, 1999, 2001, 2008
UNC Wilmington 4 8 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006
VCU 4 7 1996, 2004, 2007, 2009
Navy 3 4 1985, 1986, 1987
James Madison 2 8 1983, 1994
East Carolina 1 1 1993
Drexel 0 1
Hofstra 0 1
William & Mary 0 3

Former member of the CAA


Women's basketball

Regular Season Champions

Season Regular Season Champion Conference Record
1984 Richmond 4–1
1985 East Carolina 11–1
1986 James Madison 11–1
1987 James Madison 12–0
1988 James Madison 12–0
1989 James Madison 12–0
1990 Richmond 11–1
1991 James Madison 11–1
1992 Old Dominion 12–2
1993 Old Dominion 14–0
1994 Old Dominion 14–0
1995 Old Dominion 13–1
1996 Old Dominion 16–0
1997 Old Dominion 16–0
1998 Old Dominion 16–0
1999 Old Dominion 16–0
2000 Old Dominion 16–0
2001 Old Dominion 15–1
2002 Old Dominion 18–0
2003 Old Dominion 15–3
2004 Old Dominion 14–4
2005 Old Dominion 15–3
2006 Old Dominion 17–1
2007 Old Dominion 17–1
2008 Old Dominion 17–1
2009 Drexel 16–2
2010 Old Dominion 14–4
2011 James Madison 16–2
* Denotes a tie for regular season conference title
Denotes game went into overtime

History of the Tournament Finals

Year CAA Champions Score Runner-Up Tournament MVP Venue
1984 East Carolina 54–39 Richmond N/A Minges Coliseum (Greenville, NC)
1985 East Carolina 65–59 James Madison N/A William & Mary Hall (Williamsburg, VA)
1986 James Madison 66–62 East Carolina Lisa Squirewell, ECU Trask Coliseum (Wilmington, NC)
1987 James Madison 74–62 American Sydney Beasley, JMU JMU Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
1988 James Madison 87–72 George Mason Sydney Beasley, JMU Bender Arena (Washington, DC)
1989 James Madison 55–45 Richmond Carolin Dehn-Duhr, JMU William & Mary Hall (Williamsburg, VA)
1990 Richmond 47–46 James Madison Pam Bryant, UR Robins Center (Richmond, VA)
1991 Richmond 88–70 East Carolina Ginny Norton, UR JMU Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
1992 Old Dominion 80–75 East Carolina Pam Huntley, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VA)
1993 Old Dominion 65–51 William & Mary Pam Huntley, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VA)
1994 Old Dominion 78–61 George Mason Celeste Hill, ODU JMU Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
1995 Old Dominion 63–44 James Madison Ticha Penicheiro, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VA)
1996 Old Dominion 84–58 James Madison Clarisse Machanguana, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VA)
1997 Old Dominion 83–46 East Carolina Clarisse Machanguana, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1998 Old Dominion 82–49 American Ticha Penicheiro, ODU Richmond Coliseum (Richmond, VA)
1999 Old Dominion 73–67 East Carolina Natalie Diaz, ODU Robins Center (Richmond, VA)
2000 Old Dominion 92–49 UNC Wilmington Natalie Diaz, ODU ALLTEL Pavilion (Richmond, VA)
2001 Old Dominion 66–62 James Madison Monique Coker, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VA)
2002 Old Dominion 76–48 UNC Wilmington Okeisha Howard, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VA)
2003 Old Dominion 66–58 Delaware Shareese Grant, ODU Ted Constant Convocation Center (Norfolk, VA)
2004 Old Dominion 85–81 George Mason Shareese Grant, ODU Ted Constant Convocation Center (Norfolk, VA)
2005 Old Dominion 78–74 Delaware Shareese Grant, ODU Patriot Center (Fairfax, VA)
2006 Old Dominion 58–54 James Madison T. J. Jordan, ODU Patriot Center (Fairfax, VA)
2007 Old Dominion 78–70 James Madison T. J. Jordan, ODU Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, DE)
2008 Old Dominion 74–51 VCU Shahida Williams, ODU Bob Carpenter Center (Newark, DE)
2009 Drexel 64–58 James Madison Gabriela Marginean, Drexel JMU Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
2010 James Madison 67–53 Old Dominion Dawn Evans, JMU JMU Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
2011 James Madison 67-61 Delaware Dawn Evans, JMU The Show Place Arena (Upper Marlboro, MD)
2012 The Show Place Arena (Upper Marlboro, MD)

Women's Tournament Championships by School

School Championships Years
Old Dominion 17 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
James Madison 6 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2010, 2011
East Carolina 2 1984, 1985
Richmond 2 1990, 1991
Drexel 1 2009

Former member of the CAA



The CAA football conference was formed in 2005, although it did not begin play until 2007. In the 2004–05 academic year, the CAA had five member schools that sponsored football, all of them as football-only members of the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10). In 2005, as previously noted, Northeastern accepted the CAA's offer of membership, giving the CAA the six football-playing members it needed under NCAA rules to organize a football conference. At that time, the CAA announced it would launch its new football conference in 2007. Next, the CAA invited the University of Richmond to become a football-only member effective in 2007. Once UR accepted the offer, this left the A10 football conference with only five members, less than the six required under NCAA rules. As a result, the remaining A10 football programs all decided to join the CAA on a football-only basis, spelling the end of A10 football, at least under that conference's banner. Since the CAA football conference had the same members as the A10 the previous year, it can be said that the CAA football conference is the A10 football conference under new management.

With that in mind, the CAA football conference's oldest ancestor is the New England Conference, founded in 1938 by five state-supported universities in that region plus Northeastern; four of the public schools are currently in the CAA football conference. After the departure of Northeastern in 1945, the remaining members affiliated with the University of Vermont to form the Yankee Conference under a new charter in 1946, with competition starting in 1947. That conference, which over time came to include many schools outside its original New England base, eventually dropped all sports other than football in 1975, and merged with the A10 in 1997. Every school that was in the Yankee Conference at the time of the A10 merger and still fields an FCS-level football team (nine out of the final 12 members of the Yankee Conference) is in the CAA football conference. On May 31, 2006, Old Dominion University announced that it would start a football team to begin play in 2009.[6] ODU joined the CAA football conference in 2011.[7] On April 17, 2008, Georgia State University announced that it would start a football team to begin play in 2010 and join the CAA football conference in 2012.[8] The team is playing in the 70,000 seat Georgia Dome, but is restricting ticket sales to just over 28,000 for virtually all its games.

Since the CAA began play as a football conference in 2007, a member team has always played in the FCS Championship game, with Delaware making it in 2007 and 2010 and Richmond and Villanova winning it in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In 2007, the CAA set records with 15 national player of the week honorees and by sending five teams to the national championship playoffs. The very next season, in 2008, they broke that record with 19 national player of the week honorees and tied their own record by again sending five teams to the national championship playoffs for the second straight year. At the end of the 2008 season, the CAA had six Top 25 teams with four placing in the Top Ten. Players from the CAA received 78 All-America honors.

In the opening weekend of the 2009 season, CAA teams defeated three Division I FBS teams. William & Mary and Richmond took down teams from the ACC (one of the six conferences whose champions receive automatic Bowl Championship Series berths), respectively Virginia and Duke, while Villanova defeated Temple from the MAC. The following weekend saw New Hampshire defeat another MAC team, Ball State (which had gone through the previous regular season unbeaten, but ended 2009 2–10). All four of the CAA teams to defeat FBS teams qualified for the 2009 FCS playoffs and won their first-round games; Villanova and William & Mary reached the semifinals, and Villanova won the FCS championship.

Northeastern—the school whose 2005 move to the CAA enabled the creation of the CAA football conference—dropped football after the 2009 season. President Joseph E. Aoun and the board of trustees endorsed the move Friday after an extensive, two-year review of the athletic program by its director, Peter Roby. The decision to eliminate football follows six straight losing seasons and sparse game attendance at a school whose ice rink often sells out for hockey.[9]

On December 3, 2009, Hofstra announced that the university would no longer be sponsoring football. The decision follows a two-year review of sports spending at Hofstra. School officials stated there are no plans to cut any other sports at the Long Island school. Hofstra cited costs and low student interest—only 500 students would attend home games despite free tickets—as reasons to drop the program.[10] Due to the reduction of the conference, the CAA did not use the division format for the 2010 season. Even though Old Dominion began conference play in 2011 and Georgia State will do the same in 2012, the divisional format is not likely to return in the immediate future, as the CAA will lose football members in both 2012 and 2013. UMass will depart for FBS and the Mid-American Conference in 2012, followed by Rhode Island's departure for the Northeast Conference.

The 2010 season started with the biggest non-conference win of the CAA's short history, when James Madison defeated nationally-ranked Virginia Tech (FBS #13 at the time) of the ACC. JMU won 21-16 on September 11, at Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium.

The CAA football conference has the following members:

Former members

The former members of the CAA football conference are:

Additionally, former members of its ancestor conferences include:

Conference champions

* Denotes a tie for regular season conference title
Bold type Denotes national champion in the same season
Year Team(s) Conference Record Overall Record(s) Head Coach(es)
2007* Massachusetts
7–1 10–3
Don Brown
Dave Clawson
2008 James Madison 8–0 12–2 Mickey Matthews
2009* Richmond
7–1 11–2
Mike London
Andy Talley
2010* Delaware
William & Mary
6–2 12–3
K. C. Keeler
Jimmye Laycock
2011 Towson 7-1 9-2 Rob Ambrose

Men's soccer

Regular Season Champions

Note: The conference was known as the ECAC South from 1983–1985.

List of CAA regular season champions.[15]

Season Regular Season Champion Conference Record
1983 George Mason 4–1–0
1984 American 5–0–2
1985 American 6–1–0
1986 George Mason 5–0–2
1987 William & Mary 6–1–0
1988 Navy 5–1–1
1989 George Mason 6–0–1
1990 George Mason 6–1–0
1991 James Madison 6–1–0
1992 William & Mary 5–0–2
1993 James Madison 7–0–0
1994 James Madison 6–0–1
1995 William & Mary 6–2–0
1996 William & Mary 8–0–0
1997 American 6–0–2
1998 VCU 7–0–1
1999 Old Dominion 7–1–0
2000 James Madison 7–1–0
2001 Old Dominion 3–0–2
2002 VCU 7–1–1
2003 VCU 8–1–0
2004 VCU 7–1–1
2005 Old Dominion 9–1–1
2006 Towson 10–0–1
2007 Drexel 8–2–1
2008 UNC Wilmington 7–4–0
2009 UNC Wilmington 8–0–3
2010 William & Mary 8–1–2

Conference facilities

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena (Nickname) Capacity
Full Members
Delaware Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium 22,000 Bob Carpenter Center (The "Bob") 5,000
Drexel Daskalakis Athletic Center (The "DAC") 2,300
George Mason Patriot Center 10,000
Georgia State Georgia Dome 28,155[16] GSU Sports Arena 4,500
Hofstra Hofstra Arena (The "Mack") 5,124
James Madison Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field 25,000[17] James Madison University Convocation Center (The "Convo") 7,156
Northeastern Matthews Arena (men's)
Cabot Center (women's)
Old Dominion Foreman Field 19,818 Ted Constant Convocation Center (The "Ted") 8,650
Towson Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadium 11,198 Towson Center 5,250
UNC Wilmington Trask Coliseum 6,100
VCU Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center (The "Stu") 7,500
William & Mary Walter J. Zable Stadium at Cary Field (Zable) 12,259 Kaplan Arena at William & Mary Hall 11,300
Football-Only Members
Maine Morse Field at Alfond Stadium 10,000 See America East Conference
Massachusetts Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium 17,000 See Atlantic 10 Conference
New Hampshire Mooradian Field at Cowell Stadium 8,000 See America East Conference
Rhode Island Meade Stadium 6,580 See Atlantic 10 Conference
Richmond E. Claiborne Robins Stadium 8,700 See Atlantic 10 Conference
Villanova Villanova Stadium 12,500 See Big East Conference

Note: Georgia State started football in 2010 but will not join the CAA until 2012.


  1. ^ Office of Communications and Marketing. "The History of the University of Delaware". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  2. ^ "Office of Institutional Research & Reporting". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  3. ^ "Towson At a Glance - Towson University". 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  4. ^ "About VCU". Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  5. ^ CAA Announces Two-Year Extension With Richmond Coliseum Through 2014,, September 7, 2010
  6. ^ "Football to be added to ODU sports programs in 2009". 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  7. ^ Ducibella, Jim (2007-01-24). "ODU football closing in on necessary endowment". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About Georgia State Football". Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  9. ^ a b Ryan, Andrew (2009-11-23). "Northeastern calls an end to football". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  10. ^[dead link]
  11. ^ Mike Zhe (2009-11-01). "UNH football notebook: CAA expansion won't effect 'Cats short-term". Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  12. ^ "Report: UMass to announce MAC move". Associated Press. April 19, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Rhode Island To Join Northeast Conference As Associate Member In Football". University of Rhode Island. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Hofstra to End Intercollegiate Football Program to Invest in Academic Initiatives". 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  15. ^ "Men's Soccer Archive". CAA. NMN Athletics. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Georgia Dome". Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved October 28, 2011.  The Dome's full capacity for football is 71,228.
  17. ^ "James Madison University - Bridgeforth Stadium". Retrieved 2011-08-23. 

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