Albany, Stony Brook join CAA Football
RICHMOND, Va. (August 7, 2012) -- University at Albany and Stony Brook University have accepted offers of membership into CAA Football beginning July 2013, Commissioner Tom Yeager announced today.
"This is certainly a momentous day for CAA Football," Yeager said. "The addition of Albany and Stony Brook bring playoff-tested programs from the Northeast into an already nationally-prominent league."
The additions come just a few months after three CAA schools: Old Dominion, VCU and Georgia State announced their intentions to leave the league. ODU is going to Conference USA, VCU is headed to the Atlantic 10 and Georgia State is going to the Sun Belt. Plus, Rhode Island is slated to join the Northeast Conference next season.
Albany's recent success at the FCS level is evidenced by its Northeast Conference title and Division I NCAA Championship berth in 2011. The Great Danes, under 39-year head coach Bob Ford, have won 30 games and two NEC championships dating back to the 2008 season. Albany won eight of its final nine regular-season games in 2011, helping it earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Playoffs. The Great Danes' offense was among the nation's best last season averaging better than 33 points/game and holding a pass-efficiency mark of 148.4 which ranked 13th in the country.
"Albany's success last season is evidence Coach Ford has built a program that will be ready to compete right away in our league," Yeager said. "Coinciding with its new on-campus football stadium opening in 2013, we are looking forward to having the Great Danes create some great conference rivalries immediately."
Under head coach Chuck Priore, Stony Brook has captured three consecutive Big South championships and earned the program's first ever NCAA Division I Football Championship berth in 2011. The Seawolves, which produced a program-best nine-game winning streak during the 2011 season, advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a thrilling 31-28, first-round win over Albany before losing to national runner-up Sam Houston State. The Seawolves finished the season nationally ranked for the first time ever and were the nation's top scoring offense at 38.0 points per game. Several preseason publications have Stony Brook ranked heading into the 2012 season. "Coach Priore has Stony Brook poised for yet another run for the NCAA Playoffs," Yeager said.