The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) is a NCAA conference that play in the NCAADivision I. The conference is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and features universities and colleges from the Eastern United States.
The CAA was founded in 1979 when the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) split its basketball league into several conferences. It was first known as the ECAC South Basketball League, and became the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985 when it added other sports.
The CAA has run a football conference since the 2007 season. CAA football plays in Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), the lower of two levels of NCAA Division I football. Although the CAA as a whole dates only to 1979, the football conference can trace its history to the late 1930s.
In 1938, five schools in New England formed the New England Conference. When one of the schools left in 1945, the other schools joined with two other New England schools to form the Yankee Conference, which began play in 1947. In 1975, the Yankee Conference dropped all sports other than football, and over time many schools outside of New England joined the league. Due to changes in NCAA rules in 1997, the Yankee Conference merged into the Atlantic 10 Conference (A10). After the CAA announced plans to start a football league in 2007, all of the A10 football teams decided to join the CAA for that sport.
Of the full members of the CAA, Delaware, Elon, James Madison, Towson, and William & Mary have football teams. The other schools that play football in the CAA, sometimes called "associate members", are: