Coastal Athletic Association

US collegiate athletic conference

The Coastal Athletic Association (CAA), known before July 20, 2023 as the Colonial Athletic Association,[1] 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).



These colleges and universities are "full members" of the CAA, meaning that they play almost all of the sports that the CAA sponsors.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Campbell University Buies Creek, North Carolina 1887 Private Fighting Camels 2023
College of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina 1770 Public Cougars 2013
University of Delaware[a] Newark, Delaware 1743 Public/private hybrid[b] Fightin' Blue Hens 2001
Drexel University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1891 Private Dragons 2001
Elon University Elon, North Carolina 1889 Private Phoenix 2014
Hampton University Hampton, Virginia 1868 Private
Pirates 2021
Hofstra University Hempstead, New York 1935 Private Pride 2001
Monmouth University West Long Branch, New Jersey 1933 Private Hawks 2022
North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, North Carolina 1891 Public
Aggies 2022[d]
Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts 1898 Private Huskies 2005
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, New York 1957 Public Seawolves 2022[e]
Towson University Towson, Maryland 1866 Public Tigers 1979, 2001[f]
University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Wilmington, North Carolina 1947 Public Seahawks 1984
The College of William & Mary Williamsburg, Virginia 1693 Public Tribe 1979
  1. Delaware will leave the CAA and CAA Football for Conference USA in 2025.
  2. Delaware is chartered as a "privately governed, state-assisted" institution.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "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.
  4. North Carolina A&T joined CAA Football in 2023.
  5. Stony Brook joined CAA Football in 2013.
  6. Towson left the conference in 1981 and came back in 2001.

CAA Football


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.[2] 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:

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Main Conference
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


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
University of Connecticut (UConn) Storrs, Connecticut 1881 Public Huskies 2019 Women's rowing Big East
Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania 1842 Private Wildcats 2015 Women's rowing Big East


  1. "CAA Changes Official Conference Name To Coastal Athletic Association" (Press release). Coastal Athletic Association. July 20, 2023. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  2. "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.