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The Colonial Athletic Association, also known as the CAA, is a NCAA Division I college athletic conference whose members are located in East Coast states from Massachusettsmarker to Georgiamarker. Most of its members are public universities, with five in Virginiamarker alone, and the conference is headquartered in Richmond, Virginiamarker. The CAA was historically a Southern conference until the addition of five Northeastern schools (all five from rival conference America East) after the turn of the 21st century, which added balance to the conference.

The CAA was founded in 1983 as the ECAC South basketball league. It was renamed the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985 when it added championships in other sports (although a number of members maintain ECAC affiliation in some sports). As of 2006, it organizes championships in 21 men's and women's sports. The addition of Northeastern Universitymarker in 2005 gave the conference the NCAA minimum of six football programs needed to sponsor football. For the 2007 football season, all of the Atlantic Ten Conference's football programs joined the CAA football conference, as agreed upon in May 2005.

The CAA has expanded in recent years, following the exits of longtime members such as the United States Naval Academymarker, University of Richmondmarker, East Carolina Universitymarker and American Universitymarker. In 2001, the six-member conference added four additional universities: Towson Universitymarker, Drexel Universitymarker, Hofstra Universitymarker, and the University of Delawaremarker. Four years later the league expanded again when Georgia State Universitymarker and Northeastern Universitymarker joined, further enlarging the conference footprint.

On the playing field, the CAA has produced 16 national team champions in five different sports (the most recent being the Richmond Spiders who won the 2008 Division I FCS football championship), 33 individual national champions, 11 national coaches of the year, 11 national players of the year and 12 Honda Award winners. In 2006, George Mason became the first CAA team to reach the Final Four, and was the first team designated as a true mid-major to make it that far since the tournament expanded to 64 teams.


Full-time members

Institution Location Team Name Founded Affiliation Enrollment Year Joined
University of Delawaremarker Newark, Delawaremarker Fightin' Blue Hens 1743 Private/Public 19,067 2001
Drexel Universitymarker Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker Dragonsmarker 1891 Private/Non-sectarian 17,000 2001
George Mason Universitymarker Fairfax, Virginiamarker Patriots 1957 Public 29,728 1985
Georgia State Universitymarker Atlanta, Georgiamarker Panthers 1913 Public 27,267 2005
Hofstra Universitymarker Hempstead, New Yorkmarker Pride 1935 Private/Non-sectarian 13,000 2001
James Madison Universitymarker Harrisonburg, Virginiamarker Dukes 1908 Public 17,918 1985
Northeastern Universitymarker Boston, Massachusettsmarker Huskies 1898 Private/Non-sectarian 22,942 2005
Old Dominion Universitymarker Norfolk, Virginiamarker Monarchs 1930 Public 21,625 1991
Towson Universitymarker Towson, Marylandmarker Tigers 1866 Public 19,758 2001
University of North Carolina at Wilmingtonmarker Wilmington, North Carolinamarker Seahawks 1947 Public 12,000 1985
Virginia Commonwealth Universitymarker Richmond, Virginiamarker Rams 1838 Public 32,284 1995
The College of William & Marymarker Williamsburg, Virginiamarker Tribe 1693 Public 7,700 1985
Locations of current Colonial Athletic Association full member institutions.

Associate members

Future members

Former members

Membership history timeline

DateFormat = yyyyImageSize = width:750 height:auto barincrement:20Period = from:1983 till:2010TimeAxis = orientation:horizontalPlotArea = right:30 left:0 bottom:50 top:5

Colors = id:barcolor value:rgb(0.99,0.7,0.7)
        id:line     value:black
        id:bg       value:white

 width:15 textcolor:black shift:(5,-5) anchor:from fontsize:s

 bar:1 color:yellow from:1983 till:end text:The College of William and Marymarker (1983–present)
 bar:2 color:yellow from:1983 till:2001 text:East Carolina Universitymarker (1983–2001)
 bar:3 color:yellow from:1983 till:end text:George Mason Universitymarker (1983–present)
 bar:4 color:yellow from:1983 till:end text:James Madison Universitymarker (1983–present)
 bar:5 color:yellow from:1983 till:1991 text:United States Naval Academymarker (1983–1991)
 bar:6 color:yellow from:1983 till:2001 text:University of Richmondmarker (1983–2001)
 bar:7 color:yellow from:1983 till:end text:UNC Wilmingtonmarker (1983–present)
 bar:8 color:yellow from:1984 till:2001 text:American Universitymarker (1984–2001)
 bar:9 color:yellow from:1991 till:end text:Old Dominion Universitymarker (1991–present)
 bar:10 color:yellow from:1995 till:end text:Virginia Commonwealth Universitymarker (1995–present)
 bar:11 color:yellow from:2001 till:end text:Drexel Universitymarker (2001–present)
 bar:12 color:yellow from:2001 till:end text:Hofstra Universitymarker (2001–present)
 bar:13 color:yellow from:2001 till:end text:University of Delawaremarker (2001–present)
 bar:14 color:yellow from:2001 till:end text:Towson Universitymarker (2001–present)
 bar:15 color:yellow from:2005 shift:(-96,-2) till:end text:Georgia State Universitymarker (2005–present)
 bar:16 color:yellow from:2005 shift:(-96,-2) till:end text:Northeastern Universitymarker (2005–present)

ScaleMajor = gridcolor:line unit:year increment:3 start:1983

TextData =
  pos:(175,30) # tabs:(0-center)
  text:"Colonial Athletic Association Membership History"

Men's basketball

* Denotes a tie for regular season conference title
Denotes game went into overtime

Regular Season Champions

Note: The conference was known as the ECAC South from 1983–1985.
Season Regular Season Champion Conference Record
1983 William & Mary
1984 Richmond
1985 Navy 11–3
1986 Navy 13–1
1987 Navy 13–1
1988 Richmond 11–3
1989 Richmond 13–1
1990 James Madison 11–3
1991 James Madison 12–2
1992 Richmond 12–2
1993 James Madison 11–3
1994 Old Dominion 10–4
1995 Old Dominion 12–2
1996 VCU 14–2
1997 Old Dominion 10–6
1998* William & Mary

UNC Wilmingtonmarker
1999 George Mason 13–3
2000* George Mason

James Madison
2001 Richmond 12–4
2002 UNC Wilmingtonmarker 14–4
2003 UNC Wilmingtonmarker 15–3
2004 VCU 14–4
2005 Old Dominion 15–3
2006* George Mason

UNC Wilmingtonmarker
2007 VCU 16–2
2008 VCU 15–3
2009 VCU 14–4

History of the Tournament Final

Year CAA Champions Score Runner-Up Tournament MVP Venue
1983 James Madison 41–38 William & Mary Derek Steele, JMU Robins Centermarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1984 Richmond 74–55 Navy Johnny Newman, UR Convocation Centermarker (Harrisonburg, VAmarker)
1985 Navy 85–76 Richmond Vernon Butler, Navy William & Mary Hallmarker (Williamsburg, VAmarker)
1986 Navy 72–61 George Mason David Robinson, Navy Patriot Centermarker (Fairfax, VAmarker)
1987 Navy 53–50 James Madison David Robinson, Navy Hampton Coliseummarker (Hampton, VAmarker)
1988 Richmond 73–70 George Mason Peter Wollfolk, UR Hampton Coliseummarker (Hampton, VAmarker)
1989 George Mason 78–72 UNC Wilmingtonmarker Kenny Sanders, GMU Hampton Coliseummarker (Hampton, VAmarker)
1990 Richmond 77–72 James Madison Ken Atkinson, UR Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1991 Richmond 81–78 George Mason Jim Shields, UR Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1992 Old Dominion 78–73 James Madison Ricardo Leonard, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1993 East Carolina 54–49 James Madison Lester Lyons, ECU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1994 James Madison 77–76 Old Dominion Odell Hodge, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1995 Old Dominion 80–75 James Madison Petey Sessoms, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1996 VCU 46–43 UNC Wilmingtonmarker Bernard Hopkins, VCU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1997 Old Dominion 62–58 James Madison Odell Hodge, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1998 Richmond 79–64 UNC Wilmingtonmarker Daryl Oliver, UR Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1999 George Mason 63–58 Old Dominion George Evans, GMU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2000 UNC Wilmingtonmarker 57–47 Richmond Brett Blizzard, UNCWmarker Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2001 George Mason 35–33 UNC Wilmingtonmarker Erik Herring, GMU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2002 UNC Wilmingtonmarker 66–51 VCU Brett Blizzard, UNCWmarker Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2003 UNC Wilmingtonmarker 70–62 Drexelmarker Brett Blizzard, UNCWmarker Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2004 VCU 55–54 George Mason Domonic Jones, VCU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2005 Old Dominion 73–66 VCU Alex Loughton, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2006 UNC Wilmingtonmarker 78–67 Hofstramarker TJ Carter, UNCWmarker Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2007 VCU 65–59 George Mason Eric Maynor, VCU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2008 George Mason 68–59 William & Mary Folarin Campbell, GMU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2009 VCU 71–50 George Mason Eric Maynor, VCU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)

Men's Tournament Championships by School

School Championships Years
Richmond 5 1984, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1998
George Mason 4 1989, 1999, 2001, 2008
Old Dominion 4 1992, 1995, 1997, 2005
UNC Wilmingtonmarker 4 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006
VCU 4 1996, 2004, 2007, 2009
Navy 3 1985, 1986, 1987
James Madison 2 1983, 1994
East Carolina 1 1993
Former member of the CAA


Women's basketball

* Denotes a tie for regular season conference title
Denotes game went into overtime

Regular Season Champions

Season Regular Season Champion Conference Record
1984 Richmond
1985 East Carolina 11–1
1986 James Madison 11–1
1987 James Madison 12–0
1988 James Madison 12–0
1989 James Madison 12–0
1990 Richmond 11–1
1991 James Madison 11–1
1992 Old Dominionmarker 12–2
1993 Old Dominionmarker 14–0
1994 Old Dominionmarker 14–0
1995 Old Dominionmarker 13–1
1996 Old Dominionmarker 16–0
1997 Old Dominionmarker 16–0
1998 Old Dominionmarker 16–0
1999 Old Dominionmarker 16–0
2000 Old Dominionmarker 16–0
2001 Old Dominionmarker 15–1
2002 Old Dominionmarker 18–0
2003 Old Dominionmarker 15–3
2004 Old Dominionmarker 14–4
2005 Old Dominionmarker 15–3
2006 Old Dominionmarker 17–1
2007 Old Dominionmarker 17–1
2008 Old Dominionmarker 17–1
2009 Drexelmarker 16–2

History of the Tournament Finals

Year CAA Champions Score Runner-Up Tournament MVP Venue
1984 East Carolinamarker 54–39 Richmondmarker N/A Minges Coliseummarker (Greenville, NCmarker)
1985 East Carolinamarker 65–59 James Madisonmarker N/A William & Mary Hallmarker (Williamsburg, VAmarker)
1986 James Madisonmarker 66–62 East Carolinamarker Lisa Squirewell, ECU Trask Coliseummarker (Wilmington, NCmarker)
1987 James Madisonmarker 74–62 Americanmarker Sydney Beasley, JMU JMU Convocation Centermarker (Harrisonburg, VAmarker)
1988 James Madisonmarker 87–72 George Masonmarker Sydney Beasley, JMU Bender Arenamarker (Washington, DCmarker)
1989 James Madisonmarker 55–45 Richmondmarker Carolin Dehn-Duhr, JMU William & Mary Hallmarker (Williamsburg, VAmarker)
1990 Richmondmarker 47–46 James Madisonmarker Pam Bryant, UR Robins Centermarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1991 Richmondmarker 88–70 East Carolinamarker Ginny Norton, UR JMU Convocation Centermarker (Harrisonburg, VAmarker)
1992 Old Dominionmarker 80–75 East Carolinamarker Pam Huntley, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VAmarker)
1993 Old Dominionmarker 65–51 William & Marymarker Pam Huntley, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VAmarker)
1994 Old Dominionmarker 78–61 George Masonmarker Celeste Hill, ODU JMU Convocation Centermarker (Harrisonburg, VAmarker)
1995 Old Dominionmarker 63–44 James Madisonmarker Ticha Penicheiro, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VAmarker)
1996 Old Dominionmarker 84–58 James Madisonmarker Clarisse Machanguana, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VAmarker)
1997 Old Dominionmarker 83–46 East Carolinamarker Clarisse Machanguana, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1998 Old Dominionmarker 82–49 Americanmarker Ticha Penicheiro, ODU Richmond Coliseummarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
1999 Old Dominionmarker 73–67 East Carolinamarker Natalie Diaz, ODU Robins Centermarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2000 Old Dominionmarker 92–49 UNC Wilmingtonmarker Natalie Diaz, ODU ALLTEL Pavilionmarker (Richmond, VAmarker)
2001 Old Dominionmarker 66–62 James Madisonmarker Monique Coker, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VAmarker)
2002 Old Dominionmarker 76–48 UNC Wilmingtonmarker Okeisha Howard, ODU ODU Field House (Norfolk, VAmarker)
2003 Old Dominionmarker 66–58 Delawaremarker Shareese Grant, ODU Ted Constant Convocation Centermarker (Norfolk, VAmarker)
2004 Old Dominionmarker 85–81 George Masonmarker Shareese Grant, ODU Ted Constant Convocation Centermarker (Norfolk, VAmarker)
2005 Old Dominionmarker 78–74 Delawaremarker Shareese Grant, ODU Patriot Centermarker (Fairfax, VAmarker)
2006 Old Dominionmarker 58–54 James Madisonmarker T. J. Jordan, ODU Patriot Centermarker (Fairfax, VAmarker)
2007 Old Dominionmarker 78–70 James Madisonmarker T. J. Jordan, ODU Bob Carpenter Centermarker (Newark, DEmarker)
2008 Old Dominionmarker 74–51 VCUmarker Shahida Williams, ODU Bob Carpenter Centermarker (Newark, DEmarker)
2009 Drexelmarker 64–58 James Madison Gabriela Marginean, Drexel JMU Convocation Centermarker (Harrisonburg, VAmarker)

Women's Tournament Championships by School

School Championships Years
Old Dominion 17 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
James Madison 4 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
East Carolinamarker 2 1984, 1985
Richmondmarker 2 1990, 1991
Drexelmarker 1 2009
Former member of the CAA


The CAA football conference was formed in 2005, although it did not begin play until 2007. In the 2004–05 academic year, the CAA had five member schools that sponsored football, all of them as football-only members of the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10). In 2005, as previously noted, Northeastern accepted the CAA's offer of membership, giving the CAA the six football-playing members it needed under NCAA rules to organize a football conference. At that time, the CAA announced it would launch its new football conference in 2007. Next, the CAA invited the University of Richmondmarker to become a football-only member effective in 2007. Once UR accepted the offer, this left the A10 football conference with only five members, less than the six required under NCAA rules. As a result, the remaining A10 football programs all decided to join the CAA on a football-only basis, spelling the end of A10 football, at least under that conference's banner. Since the CAA football conference had the same members as the A10 the previous year, it can be said that the CAA football conference is the A10 football conference under new management. With that in mind, the CAA football conference's oldest ancestor is the Yankee Conference, which began play in 1938, eliminated sports other than football in 1975, and merged with the A10 in 1997. Every school that was in the Yankee Conference at the time of the A10 merger and still fields an FCS-level football team (nine out of the final 12 members of the Yankee Conference) is in the CAA football conference. On May 31, 2006, Old Dominion University announced that it would start a football team to begin play in 2009. Old Dominion will join the CAA football conference in 2011. On April 17, 2008, Georgia State University announced that it will start a football team to begin play in 2010 and join the CAA football conference in 2012. The team will play in the 70,000 seat Georgia Dome.

Since the CAA began play as a football conference in 2007, a member team has always played in the FCS Championship game, with the University of Delaware making it in 2007 and the University of Richmond winning it in 2008. In 2007, the CAA set records with 15 national player of the week honorees and by sending five teams to the national championship playoffs. The very next season, in 2008, they broke that record with 19 national player of the week honorees and tied their own record by again sending five teams to the national championship playoffs for the second straight year. At the end of the 2008 season, the CAA had six Top 25 teams with four placing in the Top Ten. Players from the CAA received 78 All-America honors.

In the opening weekend of the 2009 season, CAA teams defeated three Division I FBS teams. William & Mary and Richmond took down teams from the ACC (one of the six conferences whose champions receive automatic Bowl Championship Series berths), respectively Virginia and Duke, while Villanova defeated Temple from the MAC. The following weekend saw New Hampshire defeat another MAC team, Ball State (which had gone through the previous regular season unbeaten, but ended 2009 2–10). All four of the CAA teams to defeat FBS teams qualified for the 2009 FCS playoffs and won their first-round games.

Northeastern—the school whose 2005 move to the CAA enabled the creation of the CAA football conference—dropped football after the 2009 season.

The CAA football conference has the following members:

North Division

South Division

Former members

Former members of the CAA football conference and its ancestors include:

Conference champions

* Denotes a tie for regular season conference title

Year Team(s) Conference Record Overall Record Head Coach(es)
2007* Massachusetts
7–1 10–3
Don Brown
Dave Clawson
2008 James Madison 8–0 12–2 Mickey Matthews
2009* Richmond
7–1 10–1
Mike London
Andy Talley

Conference facilities

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena (Nickname) Capacity
Full Members
Delaware Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadiummarker 22,000 Bob Carpenter Centermarker (The "Bob") 5,000
Drexel Daskalakis Athletic Centermarker (The "DAC") 2,300
George Mason Patriot Centermarker 10,000
Georgia State Georgia Domemarker 70,000 GSU Sports Arenamarker 4,500
Hofstra James M.marker Shuart Stadiummarker 15,000 Hofstra Arenamarker (The "Mack") 5,124
James Madison Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Fieldmarker 15,500 JMU Convocation Centermarker (The "Convo") 7,156
Old Dominion Foreman Fieldmarker 19,782 Ted Constant Convocation Centermarker (The "Ted") 8,650
Northeastern Matthews Arenamarker (men's)

Cabot Centermarker (women's)

Towson Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadiummarker 11,198 Towson Centermarker 5,250
UNC Wilmington Trask Coliseummarker 6,100
VCU Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C.marker Siegel Centermarker (The "Stu") 7,500
William & Mary Walter J.marker Zable Stadium at Cary Fieldmarker 12,259 Kaplan Arena at William & Mary Hallmarker 11,300
Football-Only Members
Maine Morse Field at Alfond Stadiummarker 10,000 See America East Conference
Massachusetts Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadiummarker 17,000 See Atlantic 10 Conference
New Hampshire Mooradian Field at Cowell Stadiummarker 8,000 See America East Conference
Rhode Island Meade Stadium 6,580 See Atlantic 10 Conference
Richmond University of Richmond Stadiummarker 22,000 See Atlantic 10 Conference
Villanova Villanova Stadiummarker 12,500 See Big East Conference
Note: Old Dominion reinstated its football program in 2009 after 69 years, but will not begin play in the CAA until 2011. Old Dominion is utilizing a pre-existing facility. Georgia State will start football in 2010, and will use the Georgia Dome. The stadium seats 70,000 but the school will likely reduce seating for their games except for the occasional FBS team playing in the stadium because of its size.


  4. Football to be added to ODU sports programs in 2009
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Georgia State Football

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