- Colonial Athletic Association
Colonial Athletic Association
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) Website caasports.com 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.
- 1 Members
- 2 Men's basketball
- 3 Women's basketball
- 4 Football
- 5 Men's soccer
- 6 Conference facilities
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Saint Joseph's University (Men's Lacrosse)
- Binghamton University (Wrestling)
- Boston University (Wrestling)
- Campbell University (Wrestling)
- University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (Women's Rowing)
- University of Dayton (Women's Golf)
- University of Maine (Football)
- University of Massachusetts (Football, Men's Lacrosse)
- University of New Hampshire (Football)
- Penn State University (Men's Lacrosse)
- University of Rhode Island (Football)
- University of Richmond (Women's Golf, Football)
- Rider University (Wrestling)
- Sacred Heart University (Wrestling)
- Villanova University (Football)
- Xavier University (Women's Golf)
- American University (1984–2001)
- East Carolina University (1982–2001)
- United States Naval Academy (Navy) (1982–1991)
- University of Richmond (1982–2001)
Membership history timeline
* 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
13–3 1999 George Mason 13–3 2000* George Mason
12–4 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
15–3 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
The tournament will be held at the Richmond Coliseum through the 2013-14 season under an extension signed in September 2010.
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
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
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. ODU joined the CAA football conference in 2011. 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. 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.
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. 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:
- Georgia State (program began in 2010 and joins CAA play in 2012)
- James Madison
- UMass (leaving the CAA to become a football member of the Mid-American Conference in 2012)
- New Hampshire
- Old Dominion (first CAA season in 2011)
- Rhode Island (leaving the CAA for the Northeast Conference in 2013)
- William & Mary
The former members of the CAA football conference are:
Additionally, former members of its ancestor conferences include:
- Boston U.: 1971–1997, dropped football
- Connecticut: 1938–1999, moved up to Division I-A (now FBS), joined Big East Conference for football in 2004
- Holy Cross: 1971, became independent, now in Patriot League
- Vermont: 1938–1973, dropped football
* 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
2008 James Madison 8–0 12–2 Mickey Matthews 2009* Richmond
William & Mary
K. C. Keeler
2011 Towson 7-1 9-2 Rob Ambrose
Regular Season Champions
Note: The conference was known as the ECAC South from 1983–1985.
List of CAA regular season champions.
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 2011
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 GSU Sports Arena 4,500 Hofstra — — Hofstra Arena (The "Mack") 5,124 James Madison Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field 25,000 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.
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Colonial Athletic Association Full members Football-only members
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