News Release, Capital Athletic Conference

The Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) will expand to 11 member institutions as league officials announced on Tuesday (May 26) that six schools have accepted invitations to join the CAC and will become official members effective June 15, 2020.

The CAC Board of Directors voted unanimously to offer full membership to six members of theAmerican Collegiate Athletic Conference (ACAA), including: theUniversity of California-Santa Cruz, Finlandia University (Mich.), Mills College (Calif.), Mount Mary University (Wisc.), Pine Manor College (Mass.) and Pratt Institute (N.Y.).

“The Capital Athletic Conference is pleased to welcome these six institutions as the league’s newest members,” said University of Mary Washington President Dr. Troy Paino, Chair of the CAC Board of Directors. “We look forward to the bright future this newly-structured league will be able to offer our schools and student-athletes.”

The CAC will consist of 11 full-time members for the 2020-21 academic year. The Conference will reduce to eight in 21-22 when Southern Virginia University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Pine Manor College depart.Christopher Newport University, University Mary Washington and Salisbury University will remain with the Conference along with the incoming members from the ACAA.

“Mills College is excited to be joiningthe CAC at a time when working together to support our student-athletes is especially critical. Kudos to the many hardworking people and institutions that have made this happen, and I look forward to seeing the Mills Cyclones compete in the new conference,” said Dr. Beth Hillman, Mills College President and Chair of the ACAA Presidents Council.

“This is an exciting, new era for the Capital Athletic Conference. The addition of these six schools will provide excellent opportunities for both our institutions and our student-athletesto experience new venues and conference opponents,” said SalisburyUniversity Director of Athleticsand Campus RecreationDr.Gerry DiBartolo, Chair of the CAC Athletic Council. “I am thankful to the leadership of the CAC Board of Directors for its guidance in leading this expansion effort.”

“We look forward to both the expanded opportunities for our student-athletes and the new connections and comradery with schools across the country. This exciting step provides Mills, and our fellow ACAA schools, with continued conference stability and helps to secure the Cyclones’ place in Division III. The CAC has a history of success and we are excited to be a part of the new iteration of the conference.” Allie Littlefox, Mills College Director of Athletics, PE, & Recreation and Assistant Dean of Students.

The conference is expected to be rebranded with a new name and logo over the coming months.

Pine Manor College, which recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Boston College, will participate in the Conference for one academic year.

The CAC conducts conference championships in 18 sports (eight men and ten women). Men’s championships include cross country, soccer, basketball, indoor track and field, lacrosse, baseball, outdoor track and field, and tennis. Women’s championships include cross country, field hockey, soccer,volleyball, basketball, indoor track and field, lacrosse, softball, outdoor track and field, and tennis.

CAC Expansion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When will these institutions officially become members of the CAC?

A: June 15, 2020

Q: Which sports will have automatic qualification (AQ) into the NCAA tournament?

A: Baseball, M&W Basketball, M&W Lacrosse, M&W Soccer, Softball, M&W Tennis, W Volleyball

Q: Will member schools compete in regular-season competition?

A: No. Further details below. 

Q: Will field hockey, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse continue to be sponsored by the CAC?

A: Yes. The incoming institutions do not sponsor these sports, but the CAC will continue to play regular-season schedules and host championships for field hockey and lacrosse.

Q: In what sports will conference championships/tournaments be held?

A: Baseball, M&W Basketball, M&W Cross Country, Field Hockey, M&W Lacrosse, M&W Soccer, Softball, M&W Tennis, M&W Track & Field (Indoor & Outdoor), W Volleyball

Q: How will championship events be conducted?

A: Championship host sites will be pre-determined at the start of each year. For the 2020-21 academic year in tournaments where six teams compete, the top four (4) CAC teams as determined by conference standings will qualify for the championship and then Massey Ratings will be used for seeding. For the 2020-21 academic year, the top two (2) teams from the ACAA using Massey Ratings will advance to the conference tournament. The tournament qualifying and seeding deadline for ACAA schools will be three Mondays in advance of the first conference championship date for all sports where all teams are not invited to the tournament.  Beginning with the 2021-22 academic year, seeding in conference tournaments will be done solely by the Massey Ratings.  The host institution is automatically invited to the championship tournament.

Q: How do student-athletes benefit from being in a conference that stretches from coast-to-coast?

A: The Capital Athletic Conference will continue to conduct quality championship experiences for our student-athletes and institutions. Our student-athletes will be given the opportunity to travel to and compete against a diverse group of institutions across the nation. 

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...