Albany, Stony Brook Join Maine, UNH As CAA Football Associate Members
RICHMOND, Va. -- All four America East schools that sponsor football will play in the same conference starting next year as Albany and Stony Brook have both accepted associate membership offers to play football in the Colonial Athletic Association. Albany and Stony Brook will join existing members Maine and New Hampshire in the CAA starting in 2013 while remaining full time members of America East.
"The addition of Albany and Stony Brook bring playoff-tested programs
from the Northeast into an already nationally-prominent league,” said
CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager.
All four schools qualified for the NCAA Division I Football Championship in 2011, accounting for 16.7 percent of the entire tournament field, and have made a combined 12 appearances since 2004. The four teams will now have the chance to face each other on a annual basis.
"UAlbany football, under Bob Ford, is excited to compete in the top FCS conference in the nation." said Albany Vice President & Director of Athletics Lee McElroy. "Our student-athletes, fans, alums, and staff look forward to promoting the tradition, pride, and achievement of the Great Danes."
“Stony Brook Football has come very far, very fast over the last five years, and now is the time to elevate our program further and to put ourselves in a position to win national championships,” said Stony Brook Athletic Director Jim Fiore. “We will now compete in arguably the most challenging and respected conference in the Football Championship Subdivision, while also allowing us to continue to develop regional rivalries through conference participation.”
Albany and Seawolves each won their conference titles, the Northeast and Big South Conference, respectively, last year and met in the first round of NCAA tournament. Stony Brook stormed back from 18 points down in the second half and advanced to the second round with a 31-28 victory. The following week, the Seawolves pushed top-seeded Sam Houston State to the brink before falling 34-27.
Maine and New Hampshire each earned at-large berths out of the CAA and first-round byes. The Wildcats, who have made eight straight NCAA appearances, dropped a heart breaker at Montana State, 26-25, while Black Bears defeated Appalachian State 34-12 to move to the quarterfinals, where they were eliminated by Georgia Southern.
Information from Albany, Stony Brook and CAA Athletic Communications Offices was used in this report.