The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) officially welcomes Hampton University
Courtesy of Miles McQuiggan/CAA
RICHMOND, Virginia – The Colonial Athletic Association is celebrating Hampton University’s entry into the CAA, as the Pirates officially joined the conference on Friday.
Hampton, a 3,500-student private university in Hampton, Va., is one of two historically black universities to simultaneously become the first to join CAA in conference history. The university’s athletics department sponsors 17 Division I varsity sports and is moving to CAA after recently competing in the Big South Conference after a long and successful stint in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
This is the first of a four-part series featuring the four newest members of the Colonial Athletic Association – Hampton, Monmouth, North Carolina A&T and Stony Brook.
The Pirates will bring 15 of those teams to the Colonial Athletic Association in 2022-23. On the men’s side, Hampton will compete for championships in basketball, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field. Hampton women’s teams that will play in the CAA include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball. Hampton also sponsors women’s triathlon and mixed sailing.
“The move to the Colonial Athletic Association is the next step in the evolution of Hampton University athletics,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, recently retired president of Hampton University who led the Pirates move to CAA. “Several CAA facilities are within our geographic footprint, which means our student-athletes will continue to spend less time traveling and more time in class on campus. This decision continues to focus on academics, which is our main raison d’être. The conference’s geographic footprint, along with occasional competitions against northeast institutions, will reduce travel costs while enabling competition in several of the country’s major media markets. Another important consideration is the large number of alumni located throughout the CAA region. Hampton University has a very positive four-year relationship with the Big South Conference and hopes to continue to compete against some of its teams, as well as teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Pirates men’s basketball program made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances as MEAC champions in 2015 and 2016, while the women’s team followed with a trip to March Madness in 2017. The Hampton football program won five MEAC championships, while the men’s and women’s track teams both won the Big South indoor and outdoor titles in 2019. The Pirates sent five track and field student-athletes to the NCAA East Regionals this spring.
“On behalf of the entire Hampton University Athletic Department, student-athletes, coaches and staff, we are thrilled and very excited to join the community that is the Colonial Athletic Association,” said Hampton University athletic director Eugene Marshall, Jr. “CAA’s history and tradition, both athletically and academically, aligns perfectly with the ideals and core values of our visionary President, Dr. William R. Harvey, who believes in developing leaders and champions in the classroom and on the playground.”
Hampton, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, led all historically black college and university football programs in the academic progression rate for the latest APR provided by the NCAA in June.
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