The Bryant Bulldogs have accepted an invitation to join the Coastal Athletic Association Football Conference (CAA Football) in 2024, it was announced on Thursday.
Bryant will be a football-only member and will officially join the CAA on July 1, 2024.
“We are excited to welcome Bryant University as the newest member of the CAA Football Conference,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “Bryant is an outstanding academic institution that features a successful and competitive football program. Both of those attributes fit perfectly into 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 continues to be focused on making decisions that ensures its membership a competitive and sustainable model.”
Bryant University, located in Smithfield, R.I., has been a football-only member of the Big South Conference since the 2022 season. Prior to that, the Bulldogs competed in the Northeast Conference (NEC) from 2009 through 2021.
“Football’s new membership in the Coastal Athletic Association Football Conference is a testament to Bryant’s commitment to excellence both in academics and athletics,” said Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “We are proud to be associated with the other outstanding members of the CAA and to be recognized for our strong athletic program and unwavering commitment to the academic success and personal growth of all our students. This move aligns with our Vision 2030 focus of elevating our DI athletic program and enhancing our students’ overall college experience and our university’s national reputation.”
With the addition of Bryant, the CAA will have 16 football-playing members beginning with the 2024 season. Other members include UAlbany, Campbell, Delaware, Elon, Hampton, Maine, Monmouth, New Hampshire, North Carolina A&T, Rhode Island, Richmond, Stony Brook, Towson, Villanova, and William & Mary.
“I would like to thank Commissioner Joe D’Antonio and the board of directors in the CAA for extending this invitation and giving our football student-athletes this incredible opportunity,” Vice President of Athletics & Recreation Bill Smith said. “This move aligns with Bryant University’s bold vision for the future and will provide our student-athletes the opportunity to compete in what has proven to be one of the best FCS football conferences in the country.
“I’d also like to thank former Big South commissioner Kyle Kallander, current commissioners Sherika Montgomery and Beth DeBauche, and the rest of the Big South-OVC staff for giving us the opportunity to compete in such an incredible conference. We are grateful for our time as an associate member.”
Bryant will be the fifth addition to CAA Football since 2022. Other schools that have recently joined include Hampton and Monmouth in 2022 and Campbell and North Carolina A&T in 2023.