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Courtesy: CAA

Albany and Stony Brook Accept CAA Football Membership Offers

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 08/07/2012
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RICHMOND, Va. (August 7, 2012) -- The University at Albany and Stony Brook University have both 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.”

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.  “Welcoming the Seawolves into our league next season will present our current members with yet another challenging matchup come Saturday’s in the fall.”

Five National Championships, nine NCAA Championship game appearances, 18 NCAA semifinal appearances and more than 70 postseason wins...Unprecedented numbers in terms of Football Championship Subdivision success dating back to the Yankee Conference  and Atlantic 10 Conference days.  CAA Football raised the profile of league since it took the conference reins in 2007, now five years into the CAA’s leadership the league has cemented itself as an FCS power conference in terms of television exposure, marketability and success of its players at the next level.  On the field CAA Football squads have registered 23 postseason berths since 2007, including three seasons in which an NCAA-record five league squads reached the postseason.

Beginning in 2012, CAA Football will kickoff a five-year agreement the Colonial Athletic Association inked with the NBC Sports Group in February.  The broadcast agreement will provide CAA Football a minimum of five national television broadcasts on the NBC Sports Network and continue its regional television coverage with an additional 13 broadcasts using the Comcast SportsNet regional networks.  The CAA and CAA Football was the first collegiate athletic conference to sign a broadcast agreement with the NBC Sports Network, which launched on January 2, 2012.

CAA Football is poised for another successful season on the field in 2012.  New Hampshire’s Matt Evans, the 2011 Buck Buchanan National Defensive Player of the Year, and Towson’s Terrance West, the 2011 Jerry Rice National Freshman of the Year lead a cast of 14 First Team All-CAA Football honorees who return in 2012.  Towson head coach Rob Ambrose, the 2011 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year, returns 19 starters from a squad which captured its first-ever league crown last season.  The Tigers are not the only squad to boast a load of returners as each league squad returns no fewer than 14 starters from 2011.

What They Are Saying...

CAA Football Commissioner Tom Yeager
On the addition of both Albany and Stony Brook:
“This is certainly a momentous day for CAA Football.  The addition of Albany and Stony Brook bring playoff-tested programs from the Northeast into an already nationally-prominent league.”

On Albany:
“Albany’s success last season is evidence Coach Ford has built a program that will be ready to compete right away in our league.  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.”

On Stony Brook:
“Coach Priore has Stony Brook poised for yet another run for the NCAA Playoffs.  Welcoming the Seawolves into our league next season will present our current members with yet another challenging matchup come Saturday’s in the fall.”

Albany Athletics Director Lee McElroy
“The invitation to join the CAA is reflection of the outstanding leadership of President Phillip. UAlbany football, under Bob Ford, is excited to compete in the top FCS conference in the nation. Our student-athletes, fans, alums, and staff look forward to promoting the tradition, pride, and achievement of the Great Danes.”

Albany Head Football Coach Bob Ford
“We are excited about being invited into the best conference in the country at this level of football. Every team in the CAA has established themselves in one way or another with great football. There are some great coaches and some very good football players who have played professionally out of this conference. We are very excited to accept this invitation.”

Stony Brook Athletics Director Jim Fiore
“We are honored by this opportunity to become a member of CAA Football.  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.  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.  The CAA has a clear pedigree and built an unrivaled tradition of excellence, and I am confident that under Coach Chuck Priore’s leadership, our football program will continue to grow and annually compete for league and national championships as members of the CAA.  Clearly, as we join this outstanding conference today, our best days are ahead of us.

Stony Brook Head Football Coach Chuck Priore
“Joining CAA Football will surely raise the profile of our program as we will now compete against the best of the best in Football Championship Subdivision.  As we take on premier FCS teams within our conference and continue to play a challenging non-conference schedule, we will have the opportunity to expand our recruiting efforts and find the best and the brightest to come to Stony Brook University.  Our coaches and student-athletes are eager for the challenge, and we expect that this opportunity will allow us to annually compete for a national championship each year.”

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