The NCAA announced on Monday that the RIT women’s team will be a full-fledged member of Division I beginning with the 2014-15 season and will be eligible for full postseason play.
“We are very pleased that our program has reached this milestone,” said RIT executive director of athletics Lou Spiotti in a news release. “The NCAA has now acknowledged something that we know to be fact. RIT women’s hockey has arrived. This announcement serves as a portal for future growth and opportunities. I salute our coaching staff and our student-athletes, past and present as we look forward to many successes in the coming years.”
“This is very exciting news for our program,” added RIT head coach Scott McDonald, now entering his ninth season behind the bench. “It is another step in the right direction for our program as we continue to build on our Division I success. We are excited to start the new season and be eligible for the NCAA tournament.”
Per NCAA rules, RIT was not eligible for the NCAA tournament due to a two-year probationary period requirement in order to move from Division III to Division I.
The Tigers announced their intentions to move up to Division I from Division III on March 20, 2012, just three days after winning the Division III national championship, and played their first game as a Division I program five months later. RIT went 16-16-5 that season, advancing to the CHA semifinals.
Last season, RIT finished 20-15-3 and won the CHA championship.