The University of Delaware will jump to Division 1 play in 2025 when it ditches its current conference to join Conference USA.
Conference USA teams
All UD varsity programs will remain in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) through their 2024-25 seasons, with all sports except football next season maintaining eligibility to compete for conference championships and NCAA postseason play.
The Blue Hens, who played their first football games in 1889, have won six national championships.
The program ranks seventh in wins among current Football Championship Subdivision programs and 34th among all Division I programs.
“The opportunity to join Conference USA is a very proud moment for our entire University,” said Chrissi Rawak, director of athletics, community and campus recreation. “With this step forward, we will continue to offer an incredible student-athlete experience and elevate the visibility of all that is remarkable about UD. We couldn’t be more excited for the entire state of Delaware.”
Notable former UD football student-athletes include Super Bowl champions Joe Flacco, Gino Gradkowski and Troy Reeder; former NFL MVP Rich Gannon; and two-time Pro Bowl defensive back Mike Adams.
“I am confident that UD, along with our current members, will strengthen the quality of play and academic profile of Conference USA as we look toward our next chapter,” said Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod.
UD’s recent upgrades to its athletics facilities in anticipation of growth are comparable with current FBS programs, the school said in a press release.
In 2021, UD opened the 90,000-square-foot Whitney Athletic Center that houses athletic training, hydrotherapy, performance nutrition, sport psychology, sports medicine, strength and conditioning,.
It includes a space for study, academic advising and career readiness.
A year earlier, in 2020, UD completed a renovation of Delaware Stadium that included upgraded seating and new club spaces for fans and a new press box.
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