CAA Welcomes North Carolina A&T As Newest Member
CAA Welcomes North Carolina A&T As Newest Member
The CAA announced Tuesday that North Carolina A&T State University has accepted an invitation to join the conference as a full member.
The Colonial Athletic Association announced Tuesday that North Carolina A&T State University has accepted an invitation to join the conference as a full member on July 1, 2022. The Aggies will also join as a member of CAA Football starting on July 1, 2023.
“We are pleased to welcome North Carolina A&T as the newest member of the CAA,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “The Aggies fit perfectly into the framework of the Conference’s vison that calls for our membership to work together to advance nationally competitive athletic programs – coupled with outstanding academic programs – that empower student-athletes as whole persons to strive at the highest level in every aspect of their lives. The CAA is excited to add a second HBCU to its membership, and going forward the Conference will continue to be focused on making decisions that ensures its membership a competitive and sustainable model.”
The addition of North Carolina A&T increases the CAA’s membership to 13. They join College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.), University of Delaware (Newark, Del.), Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.), Elon University (Elon, N.C.), Hampton University (Hampton, Va.), Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.), Monmouth University (West Long Branch, N.J.), University of North Carolina Wilmington (Wilmington, N.C.), Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.), Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.), Towson University (Towson, Md.) and William & Mary (Williamsburg, Va.) as members of the CAA in 2022-23.
CAA Football’s membership will expand to 14 in 2023 with the addition of North Carolina A&T. They join University at Albany (Albany, N.Y.), University of Delaware (Newark, Del.), Elon University (Elon, N.C.), Hampton University (Hampton, Va.), University of Maine (Orono, Maine), Monmouth University (West Long Branch, N.J.), University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.), University of Rhode Island (Kingston, R.I.), University of Richmond (Richmond, Va.), Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.), Towson University (Towson, Md.), Villanova University (Villanova, Pa.) and William & Mary (Williamsburg, Va.).
Decisions regarding scheduling formats and championship field sizes are ongoing and will be determined over the coming months.
"This is yet another great day for the CAA," said Drexel University President John Fry, Chair of the CAA Board of Directors. "I continue to be profoundly grateful for the sustained engagement of our Presidents over the last 16 months, as together with our Athletics Directors we have forged a principled vision for the future in these turbulent times. To know that an institution with the academic and athletic prestige of North Carolina A&T shares in these same aspirational values for college athletics is not only gratifying, but speaks volumes about the future success of our Conference.”
North Carolina A&T State University, located in Greensboro, N.C., is the largest historically black university (HBCU) in the country with an enrollment of more than 13,300, as well as the nation’s top-rated HBCU (Money magazine, Washington Monthly). A nationally ranked doctoral research university and land grant institution, North Carolina A&T is widely recognized for excellence in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) education and research in such areas as autonomous vehicles, advanced post-harvest agricultural technologies, energy development and advanced materials.
Classified a high-research productivity/R2 university by the Carnegie Foundation, A&T produces more African American engineers, agricultural scientists, journalists and liberal arts graduates than any university in the nation and is home to the top HBCU business school.
“We bring a significant level of achievement as a university to this new association, which enhances our excitement about joining an athletics association with so many outstanding peers who share so much in common with our university,” said A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. “The CAA is rich with opportunity for A&T, our outstanding student athletes, highly engaged research faculty, distinguished academic programs and accomplished alumni.
“While we will be fierce competitors on the playing field, we look forward to exploring many opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations with our new conference colleagues.”
The school sponsors 17 Division I varsity teams and has had success as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and most recently the Big South Conference.
The Aggies’ track and field programs, which are among the best in the nation, brought home three medals, two of them gold, in the 2020 Olympics. The men’s and women’s teams each captured two individual national titles at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and the men’s team is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.
In football, NCA&T earned 11 MEAC titles, made five appearances in the NCAA FCS playoffs and won the Celebration Bowl four times from 2015-19. The men’s basketball team has reached the NCAA Tournament 10 times, while the women’s basketball squad has made five NCAA Tournament trips, including in 2021.
“We come from a tradition of exceptional athletic and academic achievement, and absolutely see the CAA as a new and prominent stage on which to continue that tradition,” said A&T Athletic Director Earl Hilton. “The case to join was clear and persuasive.”
The CAA encompasses many of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas with a geographic footprint that stretches from Boston to Charleston, S.C. The conference has produced 18 national team champions in five different sports, 33 individual national champions, 15 national players of the year, 15 national coaches of the year and 13 Honda Award winners. Just as impressive, however, are the honors accumulated away from competition, which include five Rhodes Scholars and 25 NCAA post-graduate scholars. In 2020-21, more than 2,800 of the league’s student-athletes received the Commissioner’s Academic Award after posting at least a 3.0 grade point average while lettering in a varsity sport. The conference had 42 teams in 17 different sports receive NCAA Public Recognition Awards based on the latest Academic Progress Report released in 2020.
The CAA currently conducts championships in 22 sports. Male athletes compete for championships in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and outdoor track & field. Female athletes battle for conference titles in basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, outdoor track & field and volleyball. With the addition of Hampton, Monmouth, North Carolina A&T and Stony Brook in 2022-23, the CAA will add championships in men’s and women’s indoor track & field.
CAA Football has established itself as one of the nation’s premier FCS power conferences for more than a decade due to its on-field success, national exposure and the achievements of its student-athletes in the classroom, in the community and at the next level. The league has had multiple teams in the playoffs for the past 31 years, three or more squads in the field for 14 of the past 16 seasons and at least one team in the semifinals for nine straight years. A CAA team has competed in the FCS national championship game in nine of the past 17 seasons.
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