Utica, Neumann to Join ECAC West in 2001-2002

ECAC West athletic directors have accepted the applications of both Utica College and Neumann College for admission into the league, at league meetings being held on Cape Cod this week.

Utica is starting both men’s and women’s ice hockey programs, to begin varsity competition in the 2001-2002 season. Utica recently named Gary Heenan its men’s head coach, and Dave Clausen its women’s coach. Both were previously assistants at Hamilton. The two coaches have begun recruiting in anticipation of starting play next season.

An announcement regarding a conference affiliation for the women’s program is forthcoming.

Neumann will also be joining the ECAC West for the ’01-’02 hockey season. Neumann is a small college in southeastern Pennsylvania and currently competes as an Independent in men’s ice hockey.

With the addition of Utica and Neumann, the ECAC West will be comprised of six teams for the ’01-’02 season. Neumann will be a full-fledged member of the league, however their membership status will be reviewed after the third season to ensure that certain improvements to the program have been accomplished.

“Additions of both teams are a plus for the league,” said ECAC assistant commissioner Steve Hagwell, “and it is certainly good for the teams coming in to be associated with this caliber of a league.”