CAA changes conference name to Coastal Athletic Association

The move follows the addition of new members to the conference and a new vision for the CAA.

The newly renamed Coastal Athletic Association announced on Thursday, July 20, its new name. The following is a statement from Elon University about the change: 

“Elon University is excited about the growth and evolution of the CAA that spurred this name change, as well as the exceptional caliber of the colleges and universities that makes the CAA one of the nation’s top collegiate athletics conferences. Elon looks forward to our future competition with these outstanding institutions and our continued participation in the athletic and academic excellence of the Coastal Athletic Association.”

The CAA’s announcement is below.

RICHMOND, VA. — New members, a new geographic footprint, a new vision, long-standing commitments to excellence — and a new name.

The Colonial Athletic Association has changed its name to the Coastal Athletic Association. The league, which will still be referred to as the CAA, will continue to use the same conference logo. The new name reflects the CAA’s recent expansion, with members spanning the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina.

“The Conference’s new name represents a culmination of its efforts over the past three years to expand its membership, solidify its geographic footprint and affirm its long-standing mission through a new vision statement which emphasizes that CAA institutions work together to advance nationally competitive college athletic programs – coupled with outstanding academic programs – that empower student-athletes as whole persons who strive at the highest level in every aspect of their lives,” said CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio.  “Our new name is reflective of the Conference’s continuity and unity, as well as each institution’s commitment to be United in Excellence.”

Membership in the conference has reached its highest point in the league’s nearly 40-year history, with 14 institutions spread across nine states. Full members include Campbell University (Buies Creek, N.C.), 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.), North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, N.C.), 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.).

The CAA has established itself as one of the nation’s top collegiate conferences both athletically and academically for nearly four decades. 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 2022-23, more than 3,400 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 CAA’s Board of Directors, institutional administrators and Conference staff have worked collaboratively over the past three years to best position the league for future success both athletically and academically,” noted CAA Board of Directors Chair and College of Charleston President Andrew Hsu. “The addition of Campbell, Hampton, Monmouth, North Carolina A&T and Stony Brook have not only solidified the CAA’s membership, but through the CAA Academic Alliance have provided enhanced opportunities for academic collaboration and civil engagement amongst the Conference’s members. Consistent with our Conference’s longstanding tradition, the schools of our expanded footprint along the Atlantic Coast are renowned for their pursuit of academic excellence. Our new Conference name is symbolic of the unified academic framework in which each institution prioritizes student-athlete academic engagement and achievement.”

The name change will carry over to the league’s football conference, which will be officially recognized as the Coastal Athletic Association Football Conference but continue to be referred to as the CAA Football Conference.

Institutions in the CAA Football Conference are also located along much of the Atlantic Coast, with the geographic footprint stretching across 10 states from Maine to North Carolina.

CAA Football will feature the largest membership in the FCS for the 2023 season with 15 institutions. Members include University at Albany (Albany, N.Y.), Campbell University (Buies Creek, N.C.), 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.), North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, N.C.), 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.).

CAA Football has established itself as one of the nation’s premier FCS power conferences. Twelve of the CAA’s current 15 members have made the playoffs since 2015, and the league has had multiple teams in the FCS playoffs for the past 31 years.