New England Conference

Sports Conference

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New England Conference
DivisionDivision I
No. of teams5
RegionNortheastern United States
Location of teams in {{{title}}}
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The New England Conference (full name: New England College Conference of Intercollegiate Athletics) was a collegiate sports conference in the Eastern United States, more specifically in New England, that operated from 1923 to 1947. As four of its charter members remained aligned in football from the conference's inception through 2011, this conference can be considered the earliest ancestor of today's Colonial Athletic Association football conference.


The conference was formed on January 29, 1923, with five charter members: Connecticut Agricultural College, University of Maine, Massachusetts Agricultural College, New Hampshire College, and Rhode Island State College.[1] These public schools are now known as the Universities of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, respectively. Ralph D. Hetzel of New Hampshire was the conference's first president.[2] Conference rules went into effect in September 1923.[3]

Northeastern University, a private university, joined the conference in December 1936;[4] by that time, Massachusetts State College (the name that Massachusetts Agricultural College adopted in 1931) was no longer a member of the conference. When Northeastern left the conference in 1945, the four remaining members plus New England's two other major public land-grant institutions, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Vermont, formed the Yankee Conference under a new charter,[5] officially beginning play in 1947.

The Yankee Conference would become football-only in 1975, and then was absorbed by the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10) in 1997. Membership changes in rival conference the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) would give that conference six football-playing members starting in 2005-06, all of which had football in the A-10. With that, the CAA announced its football-sponsoring full members would start playing football in the CAA in 2007. Eventually, it was agreed that the A-10 would hand off management of its entire football conference to the CAA. Further illustrating the continuity between these conferences, the automatic berth of the Yankee Conference in the Division I FCS playoffs passed in succession to the A-10 and CAA.


  • Connecticut Agricultural Collegedagger (now University of Connecticut)
  • University of Mainedagger
  • Massachusetts Agricultural Collegedagger (later Massachusetts State College, now University of Massachusetts)
    • Still a member as of December 1929.[6]
    • Left the conference by December 1936.[4]
  • New Hampshire Collegedagger (now University of New Hampshire)
  • Northeastern University
    • Joined in December 1936.[4] Football members during the seasons of 1938–39 through 1944–45.[7]
  • Rhode Island State Collegedagger (now University of Rhode Island)

dagger Designates charter members at 1923 formation.[1]


This is a partial list of champions of the New England Conference.


  • "Yankee Conference History and List of Football Champions" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 1, 2019 – via Wayback Machine.
  1. ^ a b "New England Schools Begin Organization". The Pittsburgh Post. January 30, 1923. p. 12. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via
  2. ^ "N. E. Colleges Adopt Code of Athletics". Fall River Evening News. Fall River, Massachusetts. January 29, 1923. p. 9. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via
  3. ^ "College Conference on Sports Sunday". The Boston Globe. September 22, 1923. p. 8. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via
  4. ^ a b c "Northeastern Joins Conference". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. December 14, 1936. p. 14. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via
  5. ^ "N.E. Conference Formed Among Six Colleges". The Berkshire Eagle. Stockbridge, Massachusetts. AP. December 18, 1946. p. 20. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via
  6. ^ "N. E. Athletic Conference Idea". The Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vermont. AP. December 5, 1929. p. 17. Retrieved February 4, 2020 – via Coach William H. Cowell of the University of New Hampshire, said:"
  7. ^ Pollak, Mark (2019). The Playing Grounds of College Football: A Comprehensive Directory, 1869 to Today. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 281. ISBN 9781476673622.
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