Hampton University to Join the Colonial Athletic Association July 1, 2022

Hampton Virginia, UNITED STATES

Hampton, Va., Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HAMPTON, Va. (Jan. 25, 2022) – Hampton University is joining the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), effective July 1, 2022, after a four year relationship with the Big South Conference. The announcement will be made at an 1 p.m. joint Hampton University/CAA press conference at Hampton University’s Student Center Ballroom. The press conference will be live streamed at media.hamptonu.edu.  

“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.” 

CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio could not be more excited for the conference and for Hampton University. 

“We are pleased to welcome Hampton University, Monmouth University and Stony Brook University as the newest members of the CAA. 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 ensure its membership is a competitive and sustainable model.” 

The Pirates sponsor 17 sports at the Division I level, 15 of which are sponsored by the CAA: football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, softball, men’s lacrosse and women’s volleyball.  Women’s triathlon and co-ed sailing will not compete in the CAA. Since moving to Division I in 1995, Hampton has been a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference from 1995 - 2018 and the Big South Conference from 2018 until 2022.  

Hampton’s athletics history includes memorable NCAA Tournament moments in 2001 when the No. 15-seeded Pirates upset No. 2-seeded Iowa State, as well as in 2014-15 making consecutive NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament appearances.  The women’s basketball team has won five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships in a row and six in the last eight years. In 2016, Hampton University made history as the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to field a men’s NCAA Division I lacrosse team.  In 2018, Hampton became the first HBCU to sponsor a Women’s Triathlon at the varsity level. The Hampton track program swept the 2019 Big South men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track championships in their first year of competition. In 2021, Hampton became the first male HBCU program to join the Southern Conference (SoCon) for men’s lacrosse.   

On the football field, the Pirates have made five FCS Championship postseason appearances, as well as five trips to post-season play as a NCAA Division II member. 

“On behalf of the entire Hampton University Athletic Department, student/athletes, coaches and staff, we are pleased and very excited to join the community that is the Colonial Athletic Association,” said Eugene Marshall, Jr., Hampton University Director of Athletics.  “The CAA’s  history and tradition both athletically and academically align perfectly with the ideals and core values of our visionary President, Dr. William R. Harvey, who believes in building leaders and champions in the classroom and field of play.

About Hampton University 

For more than 150 years, Hampton University has been THE Standard of Excellence in higher education. Founded in 1868 by Brig. Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, Hampton University has a long successful history of offering a strong academic program of educating the “head, heart and hand” and emphasizing the development of character.  This foundation has been built upon by Dr. William R. Harvey who has served as Hampton’s president for 44 years. Under his leadership, the university has experienced accelerated growth and achieved notable accomplishments. During Harvey’s presidency, 92 new programs have been introduced, 31 new structures dot the landscape of the campus surrounded three sides by water, and the university’s endowment has grown from $29 million to $400 million and growing. 

About The Colonial Athletic Association 

The Colonial Athletic Association has established itself as one of the nation’s top collegiate conferences both athletically and academically for more than three decades. 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. 


Hampton University Joins the Colonial Athletic Association

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