On March 2, 1975, the idea of what is now the Atlantic 10 Conference was conceived. What started as an eight-school, men’s basketball-only affiliation has grown into a 14-university, 21-sport league that is universally hailed as one of the best conferences in the country, and is celebrating its 40thanniversary in 2015-16.
That growth and prominence is a direct result of the ideals and commitments of the member institutions of the Atlantic 10 – Davidson College, The University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, University of Massachusetts, University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph's University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Atlantic 10 was proactive in navigating sweeping conference realignment over the last few years, adding Davidson College, George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University. The additions have proven successful with all three institutions winning regular season and tournament championships. The league continues to draw national praise for its decisions during conference realignment in selecting strong academic institutions with basketball-centric, robust athletic programs. The 14 member institutions of the A-10 are united and strengthened by their diversity. Each is extraordinary in its educational mission, whether of a Catholic faith, a private university or a land grant institution. The varied pursuits of each member prove that there are many threads that weave the fabric for a great conference.
The Atlantic 10 Conference, with a total population of over 76.5 million people within its geographic footprint of eight states and the District of Columbia, will crown champions in 21 sports this year: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's golf, women’s lacrosse, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track & field, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball.
The presidents and chancellors of Atlantic 10 institutions, in conjunction with Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade, have made a strong commitment to making the academic and athletics equation a successful one. Over the years, the league membership has strived to better recognize the academic accomplishments of its student-athletes. The Commissioner's Honor Roll, which cites every Atlantic 10 student-athlete with a 3.5 grade point average or better, recognized 3,029 student-athletes in 2014-15, a record for a 14-team A-10. The league sponsors Academic All-Conference teams in each of its sports and honors two student-athletes as the A-10 Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Moreover, the Atlantic 10 provides $70,000 in postgraduate scholarships awards to 14 student-athletes, one from each campus.
The Atlantic 10 Conference annually earns high marks in the NCAA Academic metrics. This includes graduating its student-athletes at an 89 percent rate according to the NCAA’s most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures, five percentage points higher than the national average. There were 90 A-10 teams with a perfect 1000 GSR score in the NCAA’s 2014 most recent report. The league also had an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 985 in 2015, seven points higher than the national average. A record 60 teams were singled out for public recognition for their APR scores by the NCAA this past spring. There were 51 teams with a perfect APR score of 1000 and another 71 teams that scored a 990 in the 2015 report.
Success on the playing field has mirrored the A-10’s classroom prowess, with the league earning NCAA postseason bids in each of its 21 sports, including two men’s soccer bids and 11 men’s and women’s basketball bids in 2014-15. Dayton women’s basketball made a run to the Elite Eight, challenging eventual national champion UConn in the process, while VCU baseball advanced to the 2015 NCAA Super Regionals.