Atlantic 10 Conference
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 16-university, 21-sport league that is universally hailed as one of the best conferences in the country.
That growth and prominence is a direct result of the ideals and commitments of the member institutions of the Atlantic 10 – Butler University, the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph's University, Saint Louis University, Temple University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Xavier University.
In 2011-12, the Atlantic 10 was proactive in navigating the sweeping conference realignment issues, adding Butler University and Virginia Commonwealth University, both of which began full membership on July 1, 2012. The league was declared the “winner” of conference realignment by several media outlets, arguably strengthening the league to its best-ever lineup with a record 16 members institutions. The additions were part of a five-year Strategic Initiative Plan that was adopted during the 2010-11 academic year.
The 16 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 82 million people within its geographic footprint of nine 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 1,359 student-athletes in the Fall 2011,
The league sponsors Academic All-Conference teams in each of its sports and honors two student-athletes as the A-10 Student-Athletes of the Year. Moreover, the Atlantic 10 provides four postgraduate scholarship grants to qualified student-athletes. In 2011-12, nearly 200 student-athletes earned Academic All-Conference recognition, while Dayton’s Yvonne Marten, Jennifer Nalepa from Saint Louis, Marissa Norman of Rhode Island and Charlotte’s Macey Ruble received postgraduate scholarship grants.
The Atlantic 10 has 56 of the more than 950 Division I sports teams being honored with public recognition awards for their latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate scores. The Atlantic 10 Conference ranks fourth in number of teams publically recognized by the NCAA and fifth in overall APR average among all 32 Division I Conferences with a 981 average. The league boasted 40 squads with perfect scores and 104 teams with a score of 990 or better. In total, 188 A-10 teams were at or above the national average, representing 70 percent of all A-10 teams. Of the 21 championship sponsored sports in the Atlantic 10, 19 had a sport average higher than the national average. There are six sports (field hockey, women's cross country, lacrosse, women's swimming & diving, women's indoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field) in which every A-10 team in that sport is above the national average.
The Atlantic 10 boasted a third-place ranking in the single-year Graduation Success Rate (GSR) among all Division I leagues. Measured in a six-year window, 89 percent of freshman enrolling in an A-10 institution in 2004 graduated. Twelve of the league's 14 institutions are above the national four-year GSR average of 8o percent and five of those programs, Dayton, George Washington, Richmond, Saint Joseph's and Xavier are all over 90 percent. The Atlantic 10 also rates in the Top 10 in men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball in the single-year GSR. The league is ninth nationally in men's basketball, graduating at a 74 percent rate, nearly seven percent above the national average. In women's basketball the league ranks sixth with an incredible 96 percent graduation rate for its 2004 freshman class, 10 percent higher than the national average. In baseball, the A-10 is tied for third nationally with an 87 percent GSR, also 10 percent higher than the national average.