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America East Conference History

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History

The America East conference was established in 1979 as the ECAC North. The conference at that time consisted of 10 institutions and sponsored league competition only in men’s basketball, with the champion receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

Men’s basketball remained the lone league sport until the 1988-89 academic year. At that time, the conference’s Board of Directors made a new commitment to an all-sports association, creating the North Atlantic Conference by establishing an office, hiring a full-time commissioner, and embarking on a building program.

The North Atlantic Conference merged with the Seaboard Conference (the league in which Boston University, Hartford, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, among others, competed in women's basketball) in 1989 and the NAC looked to establish conference championships in several men’s and women’s sports.

The conference changed its name to America East prior to the 1996-97 academic year and moved the conference headquarters to its present location in downtown Boston in 1997.

In 2005, America East hired Patrick Nero, most recently the Director of Athletics at Maine, as the conference’s third commissioner.


In July 2005, Northeastern left the America East to join the Colonial Athletic Association.

In 2001, four schools -- the University of Delaware, Hofstra University, Towson University, and Drexel University -- left for the Colonial Athletic Conference.

To make up for these losses, the America East immediately added the University of Albany, Binghamton University, and Stony Brook University, and in 2003 added UMBC.

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