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 celebrated 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 a record 3,582 student-athletes in 2016-17. 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 91 percent rate according to the NCAA’s most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures, the third highest rate of any Division I league. There were 83 A-10 teams with a perfect 1000 GSR score in the NCAA’s most recent report. The league also had an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 988 in 2016, the second highest average in the nation. A record 68 teams were singled out for public recognition for their APR scores by the NCAA this past spring. There were 63 teams with a perfect APR score of 1000 in the 2016 report.
Success on the playing field has mirrored the A-10’s classroom prowess, with the league earning postseason bids in each of its 21 sports, including 12 men’s and women’s basketball bids in 2016-17. Rhode Island advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Men's Basketball, UMass field hockey won a NCAA preliminary round game and the Minutewomen lacrosse team advanced to the second round, while Davidson baseball advanced to the 2017 NCAA Super Regionals.