Yankee Conference

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Yankee Conference
Yankee Conference logo
DivisionDivision I
RegionNortheastern United States

The Yankee Conference was a collegiate sports conference in the eastern United States. It once sponsored competition in many sports, but eventually became a football-only league. Although not under the same charter, it is essentially an ancestor of today's Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) football conference.

The Yankee Conference essentially was formed in 1938 as the New England Conference. The NCAA however considers the Yankee Conference and New England Conference to be two separate conferences, as they were formed under different charters.


In 1945, Northeastern University, the only private school in the New England Conference, announced its departure.[citation needed] This led the remaining four members, all land-grant colleges and universities in New England, to form a committee to explore the formation of a new conference. The committee recommended that the four current members join with two New England land-grant institutions, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Vermont. This led to the formation of the Yankee Conference in December 1946,[1] with athletic competition beginning in the 1947–48 school year.

Charter members[edit]

Later history[edit]

In 1971, the College of the Holy Cross joined the conference in football for only a year, and in 1974, Vermont dropped its football program. In 1975 the conference allowed its members to choose conference participation on a sport-by-sport basis.[2] Later in the year, it opted to end sponsorship of all sports except football. Starting in the 1980s, a number of schools from outside New England joined the conference.

It existed until 1997, when NCAA legislation limiting the influence of single-sport conferences over policy became effective. Facing extinction, the conference merged with the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10) on November 13, 1996.[3] After membership changes in the Colonial Athletic Association over the following 10 years, management of the A-10 football conference passed to the CAA in 2007.

Modern club football conference[edit]

The phrase "Yankee Conference" is alluded to in the modern Yankee Collegiate Football Conference, which fields teams at the club football level. Three of the schools in the original Yankee Conference, Boston University, Maine and Vermont, field teams in the modern Yankee Conference; neither Boston nor Vermont has a varsity team, and thus the club football team is the highest ranking football team representing the school in both cases. (The other two schools in the modern Yankee Conference are Clarkson University and Onondaga Community College; the conference also allows an independent team, the Southwestern Connecticut Grizzlies, to play in the league and contest for the championship even though it is not associated with any college or university.)

Member institutions[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Joined Nickname Colors
Boston University Boston, MA 1839 Private 1973 Terriers Scarlet & White[4]
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 1881 Public 1946 Huskies National Flag Blue & White[5]
University of Delaware Newark, DE 1743 Private and Public 1986 Fightin' Blue Hens Blue & Yellow-Gold[6]
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA 1843 Private 1971 Crusaders Purple & White[7]
James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA 1908 Public 1993 Dukes Purple & Gold[8]
University of Maine Orono, ME 1865 Public 1946 Black Bears Dark Blue, Light Blue, & White[9]
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 1863 Public 1946 Aggies/Redmen/Minutemen Maroon & White[10]
University of New Hampshire Durham, NH 1866 Public 1946 Wildcats UNH Blue & White[11]
Northeastern University Boston, MA 1898 Private 1993 Huskies Black & Red[12]
University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 1892 Public 1946 Rams Keaney blue, White, & Navy Blue[13]
University of Richmond Richmond, VA 1830 Private 1986 Spiders UR Blue & UR Red[14]
University of Vermont Burlington, VT 1791 Public 1946 Catamounts Green & Gold[15]
Villanova University Villanova, PA 1842 Private 1988 Wildcats Blue & White[16]
The College of William & Mary Williamsburg, VA 1693 Public 1993 Tribe Green & Gold[13]

Membership timeline[edit]

Overtime rule[edit]

The Yankee Conference was the first college football conference to implement college football's current overtime rules. The overtime rules known as the "Kansas Playoff" or "Kansas Plan" where each team is given a possession at the 25 yard line was used by the Yankee Conference to determine the end to tie games well before it was adopted by the rest of the NCAA in 1996.[citation needed]

Conference champions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "N.E. Conference Formed Among Six Colleges". The Berkshire Eagle. Stockbridge, Massachusetts. AP. December 18, 1946. p. 20. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "YanCon Schools Gets Free Rein". Bangor Daily News. July 31, 1975. p. 24. Archived from the original on December 23, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "Results Plus," The Associated Press, Thursday, November 14, 1996. Retrieved December 30, 2017
  4. ^ "Colors | Brand Guidelines". Boston University.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "The UD Brand". University of Delaware.
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "JMU Identity Colors". www.jmu.edu.
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ [4][dead link]
  11. ^ University of New Hampshire http://www.unh.edu/nem/best-practices.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  12. ^ "Northeastern University Branding". Northeastern University.
  13. ^ a b [5][dead link]
  14. ^ [6][dead link]
  15. ^ [7][dead link]
  16. ^ [8][dead link]
  17. ^ [9][dead link]