Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, the Capital Athletic Conference will celebrate its 25th season of championship competition by introducing a Silver Anniversary Team for its championship sports - honoring those student-athletes who are the foundation of one of the strongest conferences in NCAA Division III.
Each Silver Anniversary Team will feature 25 former or current standouts. Men’s and women’s indoor track & field, which became a CAC championship sport in 2012, was combined with men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. The Silver Anniversary Golf Team has just eight members because the sport was added to the CAC championships list in 2008 and will be entering its eighth season as a CAC championship sport.
The teams will be announced early in the regular-season for its respective sport. Each Silver Anniversary Team honoree will receive a commemorative award from the conference, and many will be recognized by their institution/alma mater at some time during the academic year.
The University of Mary Washington, a charter member of the CAC, led the conference with 153 current and former student-athletes on the Silver Anniversary Teams, including 40 in men’s and women’s tennis combined. Salisbury University, which joined the CAC in the 1994-95 athletic season, was second with 121 Silver Anniversary Team honorees. CAC charter members York College of Pa. (59) and St. Mary’s College of Md. (35) were next in line for most Silver Anniversary Team honorees.
The CAC was organized as a six-team affiliation in 1989 and began championship competition with the winter sports during the 1990-91 season. Nineteen Silver Anniversary Teams was selected objectively using a point system, primarily based on season-ending conference awards as voted by the conference coaches.
Membership changes in the last decade ultimately created a 10-team conference of institutions from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia that has become one of the strongest in NCAA Division III.
CAC teams have won 18 national team championships, including 14 titles in the last 12 years, and dozens of other teams have finished in among the top four in NCAA Division III competition.
A snapshot of the 2013-14 season shows the CAC advanced more than 25 teams to post-season competition. Four CAC athletic programs finished among the Top 60 in the final Learfield Cup – the only conference in the Middle Atlantic Region to accomplish that feat.
One team won a national championship (Salisbury University women’s lacrosse) and three others played in the national championship game (Salisbury field hockey, softball and men’s lacrosse). Nineteen CAC teams won at least one game in NCAA Tournament competition and 10 advanced to at least the NCAA Sweet 16. In the last two years, CAC student-athletes have combined to win six individual national championships at NCAA swimming or track & field competitions.
In the classroom, the CAC boasts 81 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, including one Academic All-American of the Year award winner, 12 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners, five NCAA Elite 89 award winners, two Honda year-end award winners and a Josten’s Award winner in women’s basketball.
The CAC student-athletes collected a record 11 Capital One Academic All-America awards in 2013-14 as well as an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and the Josten’s Award, recognizing a Division III women’s basketball player for her achievements on the court, in the classroom and contributions to the community.
The CAC also features an annual Academic Honor Roll that recently honored nearly 1,200 students for their academic achievements. Thousands of other student-athletes have received Player of the Year, All-America or All-Region recognition in their respective sports.
Institution - Honorees (Hhighest sports totals)
University of Mary Washington - 153 (21 in Women’s Tennis; 19 in Men’s Tennis)
Salisbury University * - 121 (16 in Softball; 13 in Men’s Lacrosse and Men’s Track & Field)
York College of Pa. * - 59 (7 in Baseball, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Basketball)
St. Mary’s College of Md. - 35 (9 in Women’s Lacrosse)
Catholic University of America - 26 (6 in Men’s Swimming)
Gallaudet University - 17 (8 in Women’s Volleyball)
Goucher College - 15 (4 in Men’s Basketball)
Marymount University - 12 (5 in Women’s Basketball)
Wesley College - 12 (3 in Men’s Golf and Men’s Basketball)
Frostburg State University - 4 (1 in Softball, Men’s Track & Field, Men’s Soccer and Women’s Soccer)
Stevenson University - 4 (2 in Men’s Lacrosse)
Hood College - 1 (1 in Women’s Track & Field)
* note - one honoree played one season at York College, then transferred to Salisbury University for her final three years of eligibility
Tentative release dates for each CAC Silver Anniversary Team
Tuesday, Sept. 2 - Field Hockey
Thursday, Sept. 4 - Volleyball
Tuesday, Sept. 9 - Women’s Soccer
Thursday, Sept. 11 - Men’s Soccer
Tuesday, Sept. 16 - Men’s Cross Country
Thursday, Sept. 18 - Women’s Cross Country
Tuesday, Oct. 28 - Men’s Swimming
Thursday, Oct. 30 - Women’s Swimming
Tuesday, Nov. 18 - Women’s Basketball
Thursday, Nov. 20 - Men’s Basketball
Tuesday, Jan. 20 - Men’s Track & Field
Thursday, Jan. 22 - Women’s Track & Field
Tuesday, Jan. 27 - Men’s Lacrosse
Thursday, Jan. 29 - Women’s Lacrosse
Tuesday, Feb. 3 - Baseball
Thursday, Feb. 5 - Softball
Tuesday, March 10 - Women’s Tennis
Wednesday, March 11 - Golf
Thursday, March 12 - Men’s Tennis