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Atlantic Coast Conference
Established: 1953
Atlantic Coast Conference logo

NCAA Division I FBS
Members 12
Sports fielded 23 (men's: 12; women's: 11)
Region Atlantic Coast
Headquarters Greensboro, North Carolina
Commissioner John Swofford (since 1997)
Atlantic Coast Conference locations

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a collegiate athletic league in the United States. Founded in 1953, the ACC sanctions competition for its twelve member universities in twenty-three sports in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Football teams participate in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the higher of two levels of Division I college football.

The ACC is considered one of the six "power conferences," and the ACC football champion receives an automatic bid to one of the Bowl Championship Series games each season.


Seven universities became charter members of the ACC: Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest. They had previously been members of the Southern Conference, but they left partially due to that league's ban on post-season play. After drafting a set of bylaws for the creation of a new league, the seven withdrew from the Southern Conference at the Spring Meeting on the morning of May 8, 1953. The bylaws were ratified and the ACC officially came into existence on June 14, 1953. On December 4, 1953, officials convened in Greensboro, North Carolina, and admitted Virginia into the conference.[1]

In 1971, the ACC lost a member in South Carolina, which two decades later in 1991 became a member of the Southeastern Conference. The ACC operated with seven members until the addition of a former Southeastern Conference member, Georgia Tech from the Metro Conference on April 3, 1978. The addition of Florida State, also formerly from the Metro Conference, on July 1, 1991, brought the total to nine.

The ACC added three members from the Big East Conference during the 2005 cycle of conference realignment: Miami and Virginia Tech joined on July 1, 2004, and Boston College joined on July 1, 2005, as the league's twelfth member and the first and only one from New England. The expansion was not without controversy, since Connecticut, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia (and, initially, Virginia Tech) filed lawsuits against the ACC and against Miami and Boston College for conspiring to weaken the Big East Conference.

In early 2011 the ACC Hall of Champions will open next to the Greensboro Coliseum arena, making the ACC the first college sports conference to have a hall of fame.[citation needed]

Membership timeline


Name Term
James H. Weaver 1954-1970
Robert James 1971-1987
Eugene F. Corrigan 1987-1997
John Swofford 1997-present


Institution Nickname Location Founded Joined ACC School Type Undergraduate Enrollment Varsity Sports NCAA Championships
Boston College Eagles Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 1863 2005 Private/Jesuit 9,060 31 3
Clemson Tigers Clemson, South Carolina 1889 1953 Public 14,713 19 3
Duke Blue Devils Durham, North Carolina 1838 1953 Private/Non-Sectarian 6,496 26 10
Florida State Seminoles Tallahassee, Florida 1851 1991 Public 32,525 17 7
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Atlanta, Georgia 1885 1979 Public 12,966 17 1
Maryland Terrapins College Park, Maryland 1856 1953 Public 25,857 27 22
Miami Hurricanes Coral Gables, Florida 1925 2004 Private/Non-Sectarian 10,379 15 5
North Carolina Tar Heels Chapel Hill, North Carolina 1789 1953 Public 17,895 28 37
North Carolina State Wolfpack Raleigh, North Carolina 1887 1953 Public 24,741 25 2
Virginia Cavaliers Charlottesville, Virginia 1819 1953 Public 15,208 25 15
Virginia Tech Hokies Blacksburg, Virginia 1872 2004 Public 23,567 21 0
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1834 1953 Private/Non-Sectarian 4,476 18 8
  • In Division I FBS, football is the only sport for which the NCAA does not sponsor a championship. Championships sponsored by various third parties, such as the Bowl Championship Series and Associated Press are not included in the table.


School Baseball Stadium Capacity Basketball Arena Capacity Football Stadium Capacity Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium Capacity
Boston College Shea Field 1,000 Conte Forum 8,606 Alumni Stadium 44,500 Newton Campus Soccer Field 1,000
Clemson Doug Kingsmore Stadium 6,500 Littlejohn Coliseum 10,000 Memorial Stadium 80,301 Riggs Field 6,500
Duke Jack Coombs Field 2,000 Cameron Indoor Stadium 9,314 Wallace Wade Stadium 33,941 Koskinen Stadium 7,000
Florida State Dick Howser Stadium 6,700 Donald L. Tucker Center 13,800 Doak Campbell Stadium 84,300 Seminole Soccer Complex 1,600
Georgia Tech Russ Chandler Stadium 4,157 Alexander Memorial Coliseum 9,191 Bobby Dodd Stadium 55,000 None -
Maryland Shipley Field 2,500 Comcast Center 17,950 Byrd Stadium 54,000 Ludwig Field 7,000
Miami Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field 5,000 BankUnited Center 7,900 Sun Life Stadium 76,500 Cobb Stadium 500
North Carolina Boshamer Stadium 4,000+ Dean Smith Center 21,750 Kenan Memorial Stadium 60,000 Fetzer Field 5,025
North Carolina State Doak Field 2,500 RBC Center 19,722 Carter-Finley Stadium 57,583 WakeMed Soccer Park
Derr Stadium
Virginia Davenport Field 2,924 John Paul Jones Arena 14,593 Scott Stadium 61,500 Klöckner Stadium 8,000
Virginia Tech English Field 1,033 Cassell Coliseum 10,052 Lane Stadium 66,233 Virginia Tech Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium 2,500
Wake Forest Wake Forest Baseball Park 6,000 Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum 14,407 BB&T Field 31,500 Spry Stadium 3,000


Member universities compete in the following sports:

Current Champions

Fall 2009
Sport School
Cross Country (M) North Carolina State
Cross Country (W) Florida State
Field Hockey Maryland
Football Georgia Tech
Soccer (M) Virginia
Soccer (W) North Carolina
Volleyball Florida State
Winter 2010
Sport School
Basketball (M) Duke
Basketball (W) Duke
Swimming & Diving (M) Virginia
Swimming & Diving (W) Virginia
Indoor Track & Field (M) Florida State
Indoor Track & Field (W) Clemson
Wrestling Virginia
Spring 2009
Sport School
Baseball Virginia
Golf (M) Georgia Tech
Golf (W) Wake Forest
Lacrosse (M) Duke
Lacrosse (W) Maryland
Rowing Clemson
Softball Georgia Tech
Tennis (M) Virginia
Tennis (W) Duke
Track & Field (M) Florida State & Virginia
Track & Field (W) Florida State


National Championships

Wake Forest won the ACC's only national championship in 1955. Miami won its four national championships (1982, 1985, 1999, 2001) prior to joining the ACC.

School College
Last CWS
Boston College 4 1967
Clemson 11 2006
Duke 3 1961
Florida State 19 2008
Georgia Tech 3 2006
Maryland 0 n/a
Miami 23 2008
North Carolina 8 2009
North Carolina State 1 1968
Virginia 1 2009
Virginia Tech 0 n/a
Wake Forest 2 1955

The count of College World Series appearances includes those made by the school prior to joining the ACC:

  • Boston College: 4 appearances
  • Florida State: 11 appearances
  • Miami: 21 appearances



Locations of Atlantic Coast Conference member institutions.

Historically, the ACC has been considered one of the most successful conferences in men's basketball. The early roots of ACC basketball began primarily thanks to two men: Everett Case and Frank McGuire.

The North Carolina State coach Everett Case had been a successful high school coach in Indiana who accepted the Wolfpack's head coaching job at a time that the school's athletic department had decided to focus on competing in football on a level with Duke, then a national power in college football. Case's North Carolina State teams dominated the early years of the ACC with a modern, fast-paced style of play. He became the fastest college basketball coach to reach many "games won" milestones.

Case eventually became known as The Father of ACC Basketball. Despite his success on the court, he may have been even a better promoter off-the-court. Case realized the need to sell his program and university. That is why he organized the funding and construction of Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina, as the new home court for his team. At the time, the Reynolds Coliseum was the largest on-campus arena in America, and it was therefore used as the host site for many Southern Conference Tournaments, ACC Tournaments, and the Dixie Classic, an annual event involving the four ACC teams from North Carolina as well as four other prominent programs from across the nation. The Dixie Classic brought in large revenues for all schools involved and soon became one of the premier sporting events in the South.

At North Carolina, Frank McGuire was hired as the men's basketball coach to counter Case's personality, as well as the dominant success of his program. McGuire began recruiting in his home area of New York. McGuire knew that basketball was the major high school athletic event of the region, unlike football in the south. Case and McGuire literally invented a rivalry. Both men realized the benefits created through a rivalry between them. It brought more national attention to both of their programs and increased fan support on both sides. For this reason, they often exchanged verbal jabs at each other in public, while maintaining a secret working relationship in private.

In 1957, when McGuire's North Carolina team won the national championship, an entrepreneur from Greensboro named Castleman D. Chesley noticed the popularity that it generated. He developed a five-station television network which began broadcasting regular season ACC games the following season. From that point on, ACC basketball gained large popularity.

The ACC has been the home of many prominent basketball coaches, including Terry Holland, Everett Case, Frank McGuire, Vic Bubas, Press Maravich, Dean Smith, Norm Sloan, Bones McKinney, Al Skinner, Lefty Driesell, Jim Valvano, Mike Krzyzewski, Bobby Cremins, Rick Barnes, Gary Williams, and Roy Williams.

Present day schedule

With the expansion to 12 teams in the 2005-2006 season, the ACC schedule could no longer accommodate a home-and-away series between every pair of teams each season. In the new scheduling format that was agreed to, each team is assigned two permanent partners and nine rotating partners over a three-year period. Teams play their permanent partners in a home-and-away series each year. The rotating partners are split into three groups: three teams who are played in a home-and-away series, three teams who are played at home, and three teams who are played on the road. The rotating partner groups are rotated over the three-year period.

The table below lists each school's two permanent scheduling partners.

School Partner 1 Partner 2
Boston College Miami Virginia Tech
Clemson Georgia Tech Florida State
Duke North Carolina Maryland
Florida State Miami Clemson
Georgia Tech Clemson Wake Forest
Maryland Duke Virginia
Miami Boston College Florida State
North Carolina Duke North Carolina State
North Carolina State North Carolina Wake Forest
Virginia Virginia Tech Maryland
Virginia Tech Virginia Boston College
Wake Forest North Carolina State Georgia Tech

National Championships

Over the course of its existence, ACC schools have captured 11 NCAA men's basketball championships. North Carolina has won five, Duke has won three, North Carolina State has won two, and Maryland has won one. In addition, 8 of the 12 members have advanced to the Final Four at least once.

In women's basketball, the ACC has won two national championships, with North Carolina and Maryland. In 2006, Duke, Maryland, and North Carolina all advanced to the Final Four, the first time a conference placed three teams in the women's Final Four. Both 2006 NCAA women's finalists were from the ACC, with Maryland defeating Duke for the title.

School Helms Athletic Foundation Men's NCAA Women's NCAA
Duke 1991, 1992, 2001
Maryland 2002 2006
North Carolina 1924 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009 1994
North Carolina State 1974, 1983
  • Italics denote championships won before the school joined the ACC.

Field Hockey

National Championships

The ACC has won 15 of the 29 NCAA Championships in field hockey.

School NCAA
Maryland 1987, 1993, 1999,
2005, 2006, 2008
North Carolina 1989, 1995, 1996,
1997, 2007, 2009
Wake Forest 2002, 2003, 2004



In 2005, the ACC began divisional play in football. Division leaders compete in a playoff game to determine the ACC championship. The inaugural Championship Game was played on December 3, 2005, in Jacksonville, Florida, at the stadium then known as Alltel Stadium, in which Florida State defeated Virginia Tech to capture its 12th championship since it joined the league in 1992. The 2009 ACC Championship Game was played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida with Georgia Tech defeating Clemson by a score of 39-34.

The ACC is the only NCAA Division I conference whose divisions are not divided geographically (North/South, East/West).[2]

This division structure leads to each team playing the following games:

  • Five games within its division (one against each opponent)
  • One game against a designated permanent rival from the other division (not necessarily the school's closest traditional rival, even within the conference); this is similar to the SEC setup
  • Two rotating games (one home, one away) against teams in the other division

In the table below, each column represents one division. Each team's designated permanent rival is listed in the same row in the opposing column.[3]

Atlantic Division Coastal Division
Boston College Virginia Tech
Clemson Georgia Tech
Florida State Miami
Maryland Virginia
North Carolina State North Carolina
Wake Forest Duke

Bowl Games

Within the Bowl Championship Series, the Orange Bowl serves as the home of the ACC champion against another BCS at-large selection unless the conference's champion is selected for the national championship game.

The other bowls pick ACC teams in the order listed. As of the 2006 season, the ACC championship game loser cannot fall below the Music City Bowl. Moreover, a bowl game can bypass a team in the selection process only if the two teams in question are within one game of each other in the overall ACC standings. This rule was instituted in response to concerns over the 2005 bowl season, in which Atlantic Division co-champion Boston College fell to the last-pick MPC Computers Bowl (now Humanitarian Bowl).

Pick Name Location Opposing Conference Opposing Pick
1 FedEx Orange Bowl Miami Gardens, Florida BCS
2 Chick-fil-A Bowl Atlanta, Georgia SEC 3/4/5
3 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl Jacksonville, Florida Big 12 4
Big East 2
Notre Dame
4 Champs Sports Bowl Orlando, Florida Big Ten 4/5
5 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Nashville, Tennessee SEC 6/7/8
6 Meineke Car Care Bowl Charlotte, North Carolina Big East 3
7 Emerald Bowl San Francisco, California Pac-10 4/5
8 EagleBank Bowl Washington, DC Army or C-USA 7
9 GMAC Bowl Mobile, AL Mid American Conference

The following is the bowl selection order starting in 2010 and the teams involved in each bowl. The ACC Championship Game runner-up is guaranteed to fall no lower than the Sun Bowl in the conference bowl hierarchy.

Pick Name Location Opposing Conference Opposing Pick
1 FedEx Orange Bowl Miami Gardens, Florida BCS
2 Chick-fil-A Bowl Atlanta, Georgia SEC 3/4/5
3 Champs Sports Bowl Orlando, Florida Big East 2
4 Sun Bowl El Paso, Texas Pac-10 4
5 Meineke Car Care Bowl Charlotte, North Carolina Big East 3
6 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Nashville, Tennessee SEC 7/8
7 Independence Bowl Shreveport, Louisiana MWC 3
8 EagleBank Bowl Washington, DC C-USA 2010, Navy 2011 Army 2012, Big12 2013
9 (contingency) Emerald Bowl San Francisco, California Pac-10 5


National Championships

Though the NCAA does not determine an official national champion for Division I FBS football, several ACC members have achieved a national championship through the Associated Press, the Coaches Poll, or the Bowl Championship Series.

School Helms Athletic Foundation Associated Press Coaches Poll Bowl Championship Series
Clemson 1981 1981
Florida State 1993, 1999 1993, 1999 1999
Georgia Tech 1917, 1928, 1952 1990
Maryland 1953 1953
Miami 1983, 1987, 1989,
1991, 2001
1983, 1987, 1989,
  • Italics denote championships won before the school joined the ACC.


National Championships

School Men's Team NCAA Men's Individual NCAA Women's Team NCAA Women's Individual NCAA
Clemson 2003 Charles Warren 1997
Duke 1999, 2002, 2005,
2006, 2007
Candy Hannemann 2001,
Virada Nirapathpongporn 2002,
Anna Grzebian 2005
Georgia Tech Watts Gunn 1927,
Charles Yates 1934,

Troy Matteson 2002
Miami 1984 Penny Hammel 1983
North Carolina Harvie Ward 1949,
John Inman 1984
North Carolina State Matt Hill 2009
Virginia Dixon Brooke 1940
Wake Forest 1974, 1975, 1986 Curtis Strange 1974,
Jay Haas 1975,
Gary Hallberg 1979
  • Italics denote championships won before the school joined the ACC.


National Championships

Since 1971, when the first men's national champion was determined by the NCAA, the ACC has won 10 national championships. Virginia and North Carolina have each won four national championships, and Maryland has won two. In addition, prior to the establishment of the NCAA tournament, Maryland had won eight national championships while Virginia won two.

Women's lacrosse has only awarded a national championship since 1982, and the ACC has won more titles than any other conference. In all, the ACC has won 12 women's national championships: Maryland has won nine and Virginia has won three.

School Men's NCAA Women's NCAA Pre-NCAA (Men)
Maryland 1973, 1975 1986, 1992, 1995,
1996, 1997, 1998,
1999, 2000, 2001
1936, 1937, 1939,
1940, 1955, 1956,
1959, 1967
Virginia 1972, 1999, 2003,
1991, 1993, 2004 1952, 1970
North Carolina 1981, 1982, 1986,
  • Italics denote championships before the sport was part of the ACC.


National Championships

In men's soccer, the ACC has won 13 national championships, including 12 in the 25 seasons between 1984 and 2008. Six have been won by Virginia - including 2009 against the previously undefeated Akron Zips. The remaining eight have been won by Maryland (3 times), Clemson (twice), Duke, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. During the 2007 season, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest advanced to the College Cup, the final four of men's soccer. The 2008 season saw two ACC teams, Maryland and North Carolina, meet in the championship game with Maryland winning by a score of 1-0.

In women's soccer, North Carolina has won 20 of the 27 NCAA titles since the NCAA crowned its first champion, as well as the only Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) soccer championship in 1981. The Tar Heels have also won 18 of the 20 ACC tournaments, losing only to North Carolina State in 1988 and Virginia in 2004, both times by penalty kicks.

School Men's NCAA Women's NCAA AIAW
Clemson 1984, 1987
Duke 1986
Maryland 1968, 2005, 2008
North Carolina 2001 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987,
1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,
1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999,
2000, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009
Virginia 1989, 1991, 1992,
1993, 1994, 2009
Wake Forest 2007
  • Italics denote championships before the sport was part of the ACC.

See also


  1. ^ Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  2. ^ NCAA College Football Standings Accessed March 3, 2010
  3. ^ "ACC Unveils Future League Seal, Divisional Names". Atlantic Coast Conference. October 18, 2004. Retrieved October 18, 2009. 

External links

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