Robert Morris University has accepted an invitation for its men’s hockey program, which will begin NCAA Division I play in 2004-05, to join College Hockey America.
The Colonials will join current CHA members the United States Air Force Academy, University of Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State University, Niagara University and Wayne State University, as part of the six-team conference.
“We’re pleased to be part of College Hockey America,” Dr. Susan Hofacre, director of athletics at Robert Morris, said. “As we enter Division I ice hockey, the CHA offers us a high level of competition and the opportunity to compete for a conference championship and an NCAA bid. We’re looking forward to creating rivalries with the CHA schools and, as we prepare to add women’s ice hockey, the CHA will provide a home for that program as well.”
“We’re delighted to have Robert Morris University’s men’s program join College Hockey America,” commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters said. “Robert Morris brings a long history of academic and athletic achievements, which are recognized both regionally and nationally, to the conference.”
The Colonials hired Derek Schooley as their first head coach Aug. 21, 2003. Schooley has ties to the CHA, having served as an assistant and associate head coach under Frank Serratore at Air Force the previous five seasons. He also played for Serratore with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Junior Hockey League in 1989-90 and spent four seasons at Western Michigan University, where he played for current Wayne State head coach Bill Wilkinson.
“We are very excited to be joining College Hockey America,” Schooley said. “The CHA is an emerging conference that has shown to be very competitive on the national college hockey landscape the past few seasons. This will be a very challenging but exciting start to the Robert Morris University Division I hockey program.”
Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is one of the leading universities in the Pittsburgh region and among the largest private institutions of higher learning in Pennsylvania. Nearly 5,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from 30 states and 20 countries are enrolled at RMU.
The 230-acre campus in Moon Township, Pa., located 15 minutes from Pittsburgh International Airport and 17 miles from downtown, is home to more than 2,500 commuter and 1,000 resident students.
The 32-acre Island Sports Center, located on Neville Island, provides state-of-the-art athletic facilities for the University and the community. The facility features two ice sheets, an 85-by-200 foot rink which, with a seating capacity of 1,200, will serve as the home of the Colonials’ men’s program, and a 100-by-200 foot rink which serves primarily as a figure-skating venue.