The Colonial Athletic Conference has been renamed the Coastal Athletic Conference, the league announced Thursday.
Known as the CAA, the league has retained that familiar moniker and will keep the same logo. The league has expanded out of its initial Northeast and Mid-Atlantic footprint in recent years amid conference realignment, and sources said the name change was put in place to reflect both the expansion and modernization of the league.
“The Conference’s new name represents a culmination of its efforts over the past three years to expand its membership, solidify its geographic footprint and affirm its long-standing mission through a new vision statement which emphasizes that CAA institutions work together to advance nationally competitive college athletic programs — coupled with outstanding academic programs — that empower student athletes as whole persons who strive at the highest level in every aspect of their lives,” CAA commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in a statement. “Our new name is reflective of the Conference’s continuity and unity, as well as each institutions’ commitment to be United in Excellence.”
The league has been discussing this change for nearly a year, according to sources.
The CAA, which was founded in 1979, is best known nationally as a basketball league that includes programs such as Charleston, Delaware and Towson. The league’s heyday in basketball included runs to the Final Four by former members VCU (2016) and George Mason (2006).
The league’s football membership varies from the basketball membership, as it stretches from Maine to Elon, Campbell and North Carolina A&T in North Carolina. Schools such as Villanova, Rhode Island and New Hampshire also play football in the CAA.
The basketball footprint stretches from Northeastern in Boston to Charleston in South Carolina. Recent additions to the league have included Campbell, North Carolina A&T, Monmouth, Hampton and Stony Brook.