The Hampton Pirates and the Monmouth Hawks will join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2022, the conference officially announced on Tuesday.
“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 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 for what the future holds and will continue to be focused on making decisions that ensures its membership a competitive and sustainable model.”
With the addition of Hampton and Monmouth, the CAA’s football membership expands to 13 schools. Stony Brook’s football program was already competing in the CAA.
“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 currently a football member of the Big South Conference.
“The move to the Colonial Athletic Association is the next step in the evolution of Hampton University Athletics,” said Dr. 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., also heads to the CAA from the Big South Conference.
“Today is a great day for Monmouth University,” said Monmouth President Dr. 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.”
Hampton and Monmouth will officially join the Colonial Athletic Association on July 1, 2022. Current football members of the CAA include Delaware, Elon, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Richmond, Stony Brook, Towson, UAlbany, Villanova, and William & Mary.
Per the CAA release, “…decisions regarding scheduling formats and championship field sizes are ongoing and will be determined over the coming months.”