Aug. 26, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - The Colonial Athletic Association will add Saint Joseph's University as an associate member in men's lacrosse beginning with the 2011 season, CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager announced on Wednesday. "We are happy to welcome Saint Joseph's to the CAA as an associate member in men's lacrosse," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. "They are a great fit for the conference geographically and have already established rivalries with several of our current members." Saint Joseph's will join the University of Delaware, Drexel University, Hofstra University, the University of Massachusetts, Penn State University and Towson University to form a strong seven-team conference whose champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship. "We are pleased and honored to join the Colonial Athletic Association and its great institutions," Saint Joseph's Director of Athletics Don DiJulia said. "We appreciate the opportunity to complete regionally with these fine programs." Saint Joseph's currently competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in men's lacrosse. The Hawks captured the MAAC championship in 2000 and were the conference runners-up in 2003 and 2007, while compiling a 58-38 record in league play in 12 seasons. "We have valued our long-standing relationship with the MAAC and hope to continue those rivalries in the future," said DiJulia. "We are both honored and excited to become a member of the Colonial Athletic Association," said Saint Joseph's head coach Pat Cullinan. "We look forward to continuing our rivalries with Delaware, Drexel and Penn State, as well as establishing new competitive relationships within the CAA." The CAA has established itself as one of the nation's top men's lacrosse conferences, having sent multiple teams to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship in four of the past seven seasons. Delaware advanced to the NCAA semifinals in 2007 and Towson reached the final four in 2001. Hofstra has made six NCAA tournament appearances since 2000, while Drexel has shared the CAA regular-season crown in two of the past three years. UMass and Penn State will be competing in the CAA for the first time in 2010. The Minutemen made their fifth NCAA tournament appearance in the past eight years last season, while the Nittany Lions reached the NCAA's in 2003 and 2005.