On Tuesday morning the Colonial Athletic Association announced that North Carolina A&T accepted its invitation to join the league. The Aggies' move to the conference is one of several this offseason as the CAA added Hampton and Monmouth earlier this year. They will now be the 14th football member in the league and, despite losing James Madison to the Sun Belt, the CAA is still the largest conference in the FCS.
"We are pleased to welcome North Carolina A&T as the newest member of the CAA,” said Conference Commissioner Joe D’Antonio on Tuesday. “The Aggies fit perfectly into the framework of the Conference’s vision that calls for our membership to work together to advance nationally competitive athletic programs."
Despite all other sports joining this July, the Aggies football program will not officially begin their CAA era until next year. When they do join they will play alongside the likes of Albany, Delaware, Elon, Hampton, Maine, Monmouth, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Richmond, Stony Brook, Towson, Villanova and William & Mary. A&T will be leaving the Big South which, as of now, will be down to a mere four members in 2023.
Perhaps no HBCU program has been more successful in the last decade than North Carolina A&T. From 2015-19, the Aggies won the Celebration Bowl four times, have qualified for the FCS playoffs five times in their history and have claimed 11 MEAC titles. Conversely, the CAA has also been one of the more prominent conferences in FCS football. For 31 consecutive years, the league has sent multiple participants to the postseason and has seen its programs compete in the national title game in nine of the last 17 seasons.
"We come from a tradition of exceptional athletic and academic achievement, and absolutely see the CAA as a new and prominent stage on which to continue that tradition,” said North Carolina A&T Athletic Director Earl Hilton. “The case to join was clear and persuasive.”