Coastal Athletic Association
The Coastal Athletic Association (CAA), known before July 20, 2023 as the Colonial Athletic Association, is a NCAA conference that plays in NCAA Division I. The conference is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and features universities and colleges from the Eastern United States.
The CAA was founded in 1979 when the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) split its basketball league into several conferences. It was first known as the ECAC South Basketball League, and became the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985 when it added other sports. The first word of the conference name was changed to "Coastal" in 2023.
The CAA plays 23 sports in all—10 for men and 13 for women. Its (American) football league is a separate conference marketed as CAA Football (in full, the Coastal Athletic Association Football Conference).
- "Historically black colleges and universities", defined in US federal law as higher education institutions that were both (1) created to educate African Americans and (2) founded before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.
- North Carolina A&T joined CAA Football in 2023.
- Stony Brook joined CAA Football in 2013.
- Towson left the conference in 1981 and came back in 2001.
CAA Football change
The CAA has run a separate football conference, branded as CAA Football, since the 2007 season. CAA Football plays in Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), the lower of two levels of NCAA Division I football. Although the multi-sports CAA dates only to 1979, the football conference officially traces its history to 1947, and its history can be traced further back to the late 1930s.
In 1938, five schools in New England formed the New England Conference. When one of the schools left in 1945, the other schools joined with two other New England schools to form the Yankee Conference, which began play in 1947. CAA Football does not include the New England Conference in its own history, but instead considers the Yankee Conference to be its earliest ancestor. In 1975, the Yankee Conference dropped all sports other than football, and over time many schools outside of New England joined the league. Due to changes in NCAA rules in 1997, the Yankee Conference merged into the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10). After the CAA announced plans to start a football league in 2007, all of the A-10 football teams decided to join the CAA for that sport, and the CAA created the separate conference of CAA Football.
Of the members of the multi-sports CAA, Campbell, Delaware, Elon, Hampton, Monmouth, North Carolina A&T, Stony Brook, Towson, and William & Mary have football teams. The other schools that play in CAA Football are:
|University at Albany||Albany, New York||1844||Public||Great Danes||2013||America East|
|University of Maine||Orono, Maine||1865||Public||Black Bears||2007||America East|
|University of New Hampshire||Durham, New Hampshire||1866||Public||Wildcats||2007||America East|
|University of Rhode Island||Kingston, Rhode Island||1892||Public||Rams||2007||Atlantic 10|
|University of Richmond||Richmond, Virginia||1830||Private||Spiders||2007||Atlantic 10|
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||1842||Private||Wildcats||2007||Big East|
Other associate members change
The CAA has several other associate members, each of which plays one sport in the conference. In addition to these, CAA Football member Villanova became a single-sport member of the multi-sports CAA in 2015.
|School||Location||Founded||Type||Nickname||Joined||CAA Sport||Main Conference|
|Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti, Michigan||1849||Public||Eagles||2012||Women's rowing||MAC|
|Fairfield University||Fairfield, Connecticut||1942||Private||Stags||2014||Men's lacrosse||MAAC|
|University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst, Massachusetts||1863||Public||Minutemen||2009||Men's lacrosse||Atlantic 10|
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||1842||Private||Wildcats||2015||Women's rowing||Big East|
- "CAA Changes Official Conference Name To Coastal Athletic Association" (Press release). Coastal Athletic Association. July 20, 2023. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
- "The CAA & CAA Football". Coastal Athletic Association. Retrieved July 21, 2023.
The conference celebrated 75 years in 2022, with its roots tracing back to the Yankee Conference (1947-1996) and the Atlantic 10 Football Conference (1997-2006) before CAA Football begin (sic) in 2007.
- "Coastal Athletic Association". caasports.com. Retrieved 2023-07-23.