The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Richmond to join Patriot League football

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The addition of the Richmond Spiders to the Patriot League is the first since 2001. (Photo courtesy of University of Richmond Athletics)

The University of Richmond will be joining the Patriot League as an associate member for football beginning in the 2025 football season, expanding Patriot League football to eight teams.

“We are excited to have Richmond join the Patriot League as our eighth member and believe the addition adds to the strength of our conference,” Director of Athletics Sherryta Freeman wrote in an email.

The most recent addition to Patriot League football was Georgetown University in 2001. Richmond already competes in the Patriot League in women’s golf, but will not be joining the league for additional sports beyond football at this time. The Spiders will remain in the Coastal Athletic Association to compete in the 2024 football season. 

“We are elated to welcome the University of Richmond as our eighth football member,” Patriot League commissioner Jennifer Heppel said in the conference’s official announcement. “Richmond’s consistent success on the field has made them a premier program in the FCS and their addition positions the League for continued competitive success at the national level.”

The Spiders are fresh off earning a share of the 2023 CAA championship. They beat William & Mary 27-26 in their final regular season game on Nov. 18 to become co-champions alongside Villanova University and the University at Albany. The Spiders took home the CAA title for the first time since 2015, with the 13-time CAA champions now setting their sights on Patriot League action.

Outside of athletics, the Patriot League looks to Richmond as a valuable academic partner.

“Beyond their on-field excellence, our shared commitment to prioritizing highly competitive academic and athletic experiences makes them an ideal institutional partner for the Patriot League,” Heppel said.

The conference will now stretch from Worchester, Massachusetts to Richmond, Virginia, with the Leopards still centrally located in conference play geographically.

John Troxell, the head coach of the Lafayette College football team, felt that the team would be equipped to address any logistical travel issues, given the distance of the opposing university.

“I don’t foresee any travel-related issues when [the Leopards] play at Richmond every other year,” Troxell wrote in an email. “Before the initial Patriot League meeting, we’ll have some time to line up a hotel and practice space, like we would for a non-conference opponent.”

The Maroon and White last took on the Spiders in 2004 and 2005, when Troxell was an assistant coach for Lafayette. The Leopards won the 2004 meeting by a final score of 21-16 on the road and also won the 2005 home game in a 7-0 shutout.

“The University of Richmond is a great addition to the Patriot League in football, bringing a strong academic reputation along with a history of success on the field in the CAA,” Troxell wrote. “We look forward to the challenge that the Spiders will provide the league in 2025.”

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Benjamin White
Benjamin White, Staff Sports Writer

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