The Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) has announced Hampton University, Monmouth University and Stony Brook University will join the conference beginning with the 2022-23 academic year and athletic season.
The Colonial Athletic Association announced Tuesday that Hampton University, Monmouth University and Stony Brook University have accepted membership invitations to join the conference on July 1, 2022.
“We are pleased to welcome Hampton University, Monmouth University and Stony Brook University as the newest members of the CAA,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “All three institutions fit perfectly into the framework of the Conference’s vision 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 for what the future holds and will continue to be focused on making decisions that ensures its membership a competitive and sustainable model.”
The addition of Hampton, Monmouth and Stony Brook increases the CAA’s membership to 12. They join College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.), University of Delaware (Newark, Del.), Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.), Elon University (Elon, N.C.), Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.), University of North Carolina Wilmington (Wilmington, N.C.), Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.), Towson University (Towson, Md.) and William & Mary (Williamsburg, Va.) as members of the CAA in 2022-23.
CAA Football’s membership expands to 13 with the addition of Hampton and Monmouth. They join University at Albany (Albany, N.Y.), University of Delaware (Newark, Del.), Elon University (Elon, N.C.), University of Maine (Orono, Maine), 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.) as members in 2022.
Decisions regarding scheduling formats and championship field sizes are ongoing and will be determined over the coming months.
“This is a tremendous day for the CAA,” said Drexel University President John Fry, chair of the CAA Board of Directors. “I am profoundly grateful for the sustained engagement of our presidents over the last 15 months, as together with our athletics directors we have forged a principled vision for the future in these turbulent times. To have these three highly-regarded universities embrace these same aspirational values for college athletics is deeply gratifying.”
Hampton University, located in Hampton, Va., is a private university with an enrollment of 3,500. It is recognized as one of the top historically black universities in the world and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 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 Pirates’ men’s basketball team made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2015 and 2016 and the women’s basketball team earned a NCAA Tournament berth in 2017. Hampton won five MEAC football championships, including three straight from 2004-06. Hampton’s men’s and women’s track and field squads brought home Big South championships in 2019.
“The move to the Colonial Athletic Association is the next step in the evolution of Hampton University Athletics,” said William R. Harvey, Hampton University president. “Several institutions in the CAA are located in our geographical footprint, which means that our student athletes will continue to spend less time traveling and more time in classes on campus. This move continues to keep the proper focus on academics, which is our chief reason for being. The conference’s geographic footprint, as well as occasional contests against institutions in the northeast, will reduce travel expenses while allowing for competition in several of the nation’s top media markets. Another important consideration is the large number of alumni located throughout the CAA region. Hampton University has enjoyed a very positive four-year relationship with the Big South Conference and hopes to continue competing against some of its teams, as well as teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.”
Monmouth University, located in West Long Branch, N.J., is a private university with an enrollment of 6,700. It recently received a best-ever No. 18 ranking among Regional Universities in the North on U.S. News & World Report’s Best College’s list. The school sponsors 24 Division I varsity teams and has claimed the Commissioner’s Cup in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference six times since 2013. The Hawks’ men’s basketball team has won three regular-season titles in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and made two NIT appearances under head coach King Rice. Competing in the Big South Conference for football, Monmouth has earned three FCS playoff berths and won two league titles since 2017 under head coach Kevin Callahan. The Monmouth Track and Field program has also had a run of success that includes 55 team conference championships and 23 individual All-America awards. In women’s soccer, the Hawks have dominated the MAAC during their time in the league with eight regular season titles, six NCAA appearances and a conference record of 66-5-5 across nine seasons.
“Today is a great day for Monmouth University,” said Monmouth President Patrick F. Leahy. “The invitation to join the Colonial Athletic Association has presented our university with an opportunity to compete alongside some of the finest institutions in the nation. Those strong academic associations, coupled with the on-field national recognition of the CAA teams, will enhance the Monmouth brand and increase our exposure at the regional and national levels. I am very excited to give our student-athletes and coaching staffs the opportunity to elevate our programs to a new level. The MAAC, Big South and America East Conferences have been very good to us over the past eight-plus years, and I am grateful to the leaders of those leagues and the member institutions for their collegiality and competitive spirit. I anticipate that this move to the CAA will energize the entire Monmouth University community and serve as a tremendous point of pride for our students, alumni and friends.”
Stony Brook University, located in Stony Brook, N.Y., has an enrollment of nearly 27,000 and has been ranked among the top 25 public universities in the nation, and as a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), is one of the top 66 research institutions in North America. The school sponsors 18 Division I varsity teams and has claimed a pair of America East Commissioner’s Cups. The Seawolves’ men’s basketball team has reached the NCAA Tournament once and the NIT twice over the past decade, while the women’s basketball team has won back-to-back America East titles and made its first NCAA Tournament trip last March. As a CAA Football member since 2013, the Seawolves reached the FCS playoffs in 2017 and 2018. The Stony Brook women’s lacrosse team has reached the NCAA quarterfinals three times since 2017 and its baseball team advanced to the College World Series in 2012.
“I’m very excited to announce that Stony Brook University will join the Colonial Athletic Association beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. This invitation is a historic step for our institution and a testament to our tremendous growth – both in academics and athletics – over the last two decades,” said Stony Brook President Maurie McInnis. “Today would not be possible without the dedication of our student-athletes and coaches, who have paved the way for this moment. Our future is bright, and we look forward to competing for CAA Championships for years to come!”
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 conducts championships in 22 sports. Male athletes compete for championships in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field. Female athletes battle for conference titles in basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
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.