Fairfield University announced on Tuesday that the men’s lacrosse program will join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) as an associate member. The Stags will begin CAA competition in 2015 with the University of Delaware, Drexel University, Hofstra University, the University of Massachusetts, St. Joseph’s University, and Towson University.
“The landscape of Division I lacrosse has been evolving rapidly and we are pleased to be joining the CAA,” said Fairfield Director of Athletics Eugene P. Doris. “The prospect of aligning with these like-minded institutions is a tremendous opportunity to have our lacrosse program compete at the highest national level.”
“We are thrilled to announce the addition of Fairfield’s men’s lacrosse program to our league,” said CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager. “The Stags have built a tradition of success on the field and in the classroom that will strengthen the caliber and character of our conference. We are excited for them to begin competition in 2015.”
Fairfield completed its eighth season as a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League in 2013 and will compete with the Air Force Academy, Bellarmine University, Hobart College, the University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University in 2014. The Stags went 8-7 in 2013 and played in the ECAC Tournament for the third time in as many seasons.
“We are pleased to have found a new home with the CAA and for the opportunity to align ourselves with some fantastic institutions and lacrosse programs,” said sixth year head coach Andy Copelan. “The ECAC has provided us some tremendous experiences and we are thankful to have one final year in a conference that has meant an awful lot to us. At the end of the day, we are going from one challenging conference to another challenging conference that is a little easier on our travel budget. Seeing new rivalries emerge is healthy for college lacrosse and it is my hope that Fairfield can continue to do our part in making sure the CAA remains among the elite conferences in the country. Lastly, I would like to thank our Athletic Director, Gene Doris, for his efforts during these last couple weeks. It feels good to be able to say that we have a new home and to begin a new chapter of Fairfield lacrosse.”
In each of the past two seasons the Stags have won 20 games, including a program-best 12-4 mark during the 2012 seasons. Fairfield has spent 16 weeks in the USILA National Poll the past two seasons, reaching as high as 13th in both seasons. In Copelan’s five years at the helm, the Stags have won 43 games and have finishing .500 or better every seasons, the program’s longest such stretch. Included in those victories is the program’s first-ever win over a #1 ranked team, 10-9 in Denver this spring, and a win over then #3 Notre Dame, 10-8, in 2010.
This past season, the CAA sent a pair of squads in nationally ranked Penn State and league champion Towson to the 2013 NCAA Championship. The league has had multiple teams selected to the NCAA Championship in four of the last five seasons.