EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T football is entering a new conference with a different slate of matchups.
After spending two years in the Big South Conference as a football member N.C. A&T football has transitioned into the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Aggies’ inaugural CAA game will take place against another North Carolina school and a familiar foe. The Aggies will travel 25 miles to Elon University to face the Phoenix on Sept. 16.
The Phoenix finished 2022 nationally ranked and made an NCAA FCS playoff appearance. The Aggies lead the series, 8-4, after a 24-21 win in East Greensboro on Aug. 31, 2019.
Villanova will be the first CAA school to visit the Aggies for a home conference game. The Wildcats and the Aggies will meet for the first time on Oct. 7. The Wildcats went 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the CAA last season.
The Aggies other CAA home games are against Richmond (Oct. 21) and Towson (Nov. 4). Towson will come to N.C. A&T for the Greatest Homecoming on Earth. It will be the Tigers’ first trip to East Greensboro.
Other CAA road games are against Delaware (Oct. 14), Hampton (Oct. 28), and Rhode Island (Nov. 11).
Five CAA teams made the 2022 NCAA FCS playoffs, including William & Mary, Richmond, Elon, Delaware and New Hampshire.
New N.C. A&T coach Vincent Brown discussed entering the CAA at his introductory press conference. He spent the past four seasons at William & Mary as its defensive coordinator.
“The fact that we play football in the Colonial Athletic Association will not diminish who this institution is and what the institution is all about,” said Brown. “The development of our student-athletes is what our program is all about. That’s not going to change. It will never change.
You don’t become the No. 1 HBCU in the land by being minimal to outside influences to change who you are. The leadership will maintain its focus on being the No. 1 HBCU in the country. And from our perspective, we’re trying to coach the kid to be the absolute best and to compete at an elite level in the CAA and beyond because the goal is to compete for conference and national championships.”
A&T’s season starts with two consecutive non-conference games, starting with a contest at the University of Alabama-Birmingham ahead of a home matchup with HBCU national champion North Carolina Central on Sept. 9. N.C. A&T’s final non-conference contest is at Norfolk State on Sept. 30.