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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.

Yankee Conference
Yankee Conference logo
DivisionDivision I
RegionNortheastern United States

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. 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 1946, with athletic competition beginning in the 1947–48 school year.

Charter membersEdit

Later historyEdit

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.[1] 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.[2] 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 conferenceEdit

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 institutionsEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Joined Nickname Colors
Boston University Boston, MA 1839 Private 1973 Terriers Scarlet & White[3]
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 1881 Public 1946 Huskies National Flag Blue & White[4]
University of Delaware Newark, DE 1743 Private and Public 1986 Fightin' Blue Hens Blue & Yellow-Gold[5]
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA 1843 Private 1971 Crusaders Purple & White[6]
James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA 1908 Public 1993 Dukes Purple & Gold[7]
University of Maine Orono, ME 1865 Public 1946 Black Bears Dark Blue, Light Blue, & White[8]
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 1863 Public 1946 Aggies/Redmen/Minutemen Maroon & White[9]
University of New Hampshire Durham, NH 1866 Public 1946 Wildcats UNH Blue & White[10]
Northeastern University Boston, MA 1898 Private 1993 Huskies Black & Red[11]
University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 1892 Public 1946 Rams Keaney blue, White, & Navy Blue[12]
University of Richmond Richmond, VA 1830 Private 1986 Spiders UR Blue & UR Red[13]
University of Vermont Burlington, VT 1791 Public 1946 Catamounts Green & Gold[14]
Villanova University Villanova, PA 1842 Private 1988 Wildcats Blue & White[15]
The College of William & Mary Williamsburg, VA 1693 Public 1993 Tribe Green & Gold[16]

Membership timelineEdit


Overtime ruleEdit

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]

Football championsEdit


Year Regular Season Champion
1947 New Hampshire
1948 New Hampshire
1949 Connecticut, Maine
1950 New Hampshire
1951 Maine
1952 Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire
1953 New Hampshire, Rhode Island
1954 New Hampshire
1955 Rhode Island
1956 Connecticut
1957 Connecticut, Rhode Island
1958 Connecticut
1959 Connecticut
1960 Connecticut, Massachusetts
1961 Maine
1962 New Hampshire
1963 Massachusetts
1964 Massachusetts
1965 Maine
1966 Massachusetts
1967 Massachusetts
1968 Connecticut, New Hampshire
1969 Massachusetts
1970 Connecticut
1971 Connecticut, Massachusetts
1972 Massachusetts
1973 Connecticut
1974 Maine, Massachusetts
1975 New Hampshire
1976 New Hampshire
1977 Massachusetts
1978 Massachusetts
1979 Massachusetts
1980 Boston University
1981 Rhode Island, Massachusetts
1982 Boston U., Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts
1983 Boston U., Connecticut
1984 Boston U., Rhode Island
1985 Rhode Island
1986 Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts
1987 Maine, Richmond
1988 Delaware, Massachusetts
1989 Connecticut, Maine, Villanova
1990 Massachusetts
1991 Delaware, New Hampshire, Villanova
1992 Delaware
1993 Boston U.
1994 New Hampshire
1995 Delaware
1996 William & Mary

Men's basketball championsEdit

Year Regular Season Champion
1946/47 Vermont
1947/48 Connecticut
1948/49 Connecticut
1949/50 Rhode Island
1950/51 Connecticut
1951/52 Connecticut
1952/53 Connecticut
1953/54 Connecticut
1954/55 Connecticut
1955/56 Connecticut
1956/57 Connecticut
1957/58 Connecticut
1958/59 Connecticut
1959/60 Connecticut
1960/61 Rhode Island
1961/62 Massachusetts
1962/63 Connecticut
1963/64 Connecticut
Rhode Island
1964/65 Connecticut
1965/66 Connecticut
Rhode Island
1966/67 Connecticut
1967/68 Massachusetts
Rhode Island
1968/69 Massachusetts
1969/70 Connecticut
1970/71 Massachusetts
1971/72 Rhode Island
1972/73 Massachusetts
1973/74 Massachusetts
1974/75 Massachusetts
1975/76 Massachusetts

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ "Results Plus," The Associated Press, Thursday, November 14, 1996. Retrieved December 30, 2017
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