In some ways Monmouth University’s success on the athletic front seems like a secret that remains inside the school’s West Long Branch campus.  The Hawks have carved out a long list of accomplishments in football, men’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, baseball and more.  The one thing they have been missing in recent years is having all their sports compete in the same conference but that will be changing.

The university announced Tuesday they have accepted an invitation to join the Colonial Athletic Association in all sports except women’s bowling effective July 1st which is in time for the fall sports season.  The majority of Monmouth’s teams have been part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) since 2013 with the notable exceptions being football (Big South) and field hockey (America East).

The CAA announced the addition of Monmouth, Stony Brook and Hampton Tuesday as part of an expanded 12-school league which at some point will likely be split into two geographical divisions.  If that happens the Hawks could find themselves in a grouping with Stony Brook, Drexel, Hofstra, Northeastern and Delaware plus powerful Villanova is a football member. While it might require longer road trips in some sports it will certainly cut down on travel for football who was in a conference with teams from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia among others.

This latest move is another step up the ladder for the athletic program which has helped raised the profile of the school in many ways.  Monmouth recruits from all over the Northeast and that base has expanded with success in marquee sports like football and basketball.  Having top-notch facilities has only helped the growth and by joining the CAA the school has found a conference that matches their profile both athletically and academically.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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