RMU Reinstates NCAA Division I Hockey Programs For 2023-24
Fundraising to sustain programs to continue with Hockey Is The Goal campaign.
RMU announced at a press conference at the RMU Island Sports Center in December that it will reinstate its NCAA Division I men's and women's hockey programs for the 2023-24 season.
"Given the passion and enthusiasm of the hockey community, we wanted to give the fans of RMU hockey every opportunity to bring the programs back – and they rose to the occasion," said RMU President Chris Howard. "We are gratified by the support of our students, their families, our alumni and the entire greater Pittsburgh region. This is the beginning of a journey, not the end. We will all work together to ensure the continued success of the programs."
The RMU Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in support of the administration's decision to reinstate the NCAA Division I hockey programs for the 2023-24 season. The Colonials will officially apply for reinstatement to both Atlantic Hockey for the men and College Hockey America (CHA) for the women and will provide an update on conference affiliation once a determination has been made.
"We are incredibly proud and appreciative of all the hard work that took place to make today's announcement possible," RMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris King '94 said. "The reinstatement of the men's and women's hockey programs for the 2023-24 season would not have been possible without our alumni, donors, fans and the hockey community uniting around a common goal.
"I'd like to specifically acknowledge Derek Schooley and Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle, Associate AD for Development TJ Brown and the members of the Pittsburgh College Foundation for their dedication in spearheading the campaign to bring these programs back," said King. "Collectively, we have been able to establish a solid foundation and look forward to continuing these partnerships and fundraising efforts to support the sustainability of the men's and women's hockey programs at RMU."
The Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation was formed by alumni players and other RMU hockey supporters to raise money to revive the men's and women's ice hockey teams. RMU had announced in May that both NCAA Division I programs would be discontinued because they were no longer financially sustainable.
To boost fundraising efforts, RMU Athletics launched the "Hockey Is The Goal" campaign in August and promoted the campaign to alumni and donors throughout the fall. The campaign was featured during the university's Day of Giving in September, and last month RMU Athletics joined the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation in hosting the Celebrity Hockey Faceoff at the UPMC Lemieux Center in Cranberry, a fundraising event that featured RMU hockey alumni against a team of Pittsburgh celebrities. The RMU Athletics "Hockey Is The Goal" campaign will remain active so fans have an opportunity to continue to support the long term viability of the men's and women's hockey programs.
"We are back," RMU head men's hockey coach Derek Schooley said. "I am so proud of the work that the RMU Athletic Department, the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation, the hockey community and all Colonial supporters have put in to make this campaign successful. I'm looking forward to continuing the positive momentum that we've established to raise funds for our programs, and I'm also excited to reestablish RMU hockey and putting us back on the NCAA map.
Beginning in January, representatives from the RMU Ticket Office will be reaching out to process requested season ticket order forms. For those that have not secured men's and women's hockey season tickets, availability will be determined on a first come, first serve basis. Men's hockey season tickets are $125 per seat, while women's hockey season tickets are $75 per set. Clearview Arena at the RMU Island Sports Center is near a sellout for the 2023-24 season based on previously submitted pledges. Fans who are interested in reserving season tickets for the 2023-24 season can submit a season ticket interest form.
In addition to NCAA Division I ice hockey, RMU currently offers four club ice hockey teams, including a women's team. Those teams compete at the RMU Island Sports Center.