Add Robert Morris to the list of schools hanging onto their head coaches, as RMU director of athletics Dr. Craig Coleman announced Thursday that Derek Schooley has signed a contract extension through 2011.
“We are thrilled to have Coach Schooley committed to us for the next five years,” Coleman said. “He’s running a first-class program and has already taken great strides in making our men’s ice hockey team nationally prominent.”
Schooley was named the program’s first head coach August 22, 2003, as RMU opened play in 2004-05. With an initial roster of 20 freshmen, three sophomores and one junior, Schooley compiled an 8-21-4 record, then improved to 12-20-3 in 2005-06.
Schooley came to Robert Morris after five seasons as an assistant, then associate head coach at Air Force, from 1998-2003. Prior to that, he spent a year as an assistant coach at Cornell during the 1997-98 season. He started his coaching career with the Chicago Freeze of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in 1997 as an assistant coach and director of scouting.
In August of 2002, Schooley served as an assistant coach with the 2002 U.S. Under-18 Select Team which placed fifth in the Junior World Cup.
“I am excited about the extension and I’m grateful to Dr. Coleman and Robert Morris University President Dr. Greg Dell’Omo for their support,” Schooley said. “Our program has made great strides in its first two seasons, and that is a direct result of the dedication that the University, athletic department, staff and players have shown.
“I believe that we developed a solid foundation for the future of Robert Morris hockey and I’m honored the University wants me to be its men’s ice hockey coach for years to come.”
A 1994 graduate of Western Michigan, Schooley was a four-year letterwinner as a defenseman with the Broncos. As a senior during 1993-94, he tallied 23 assists and scored 27 points in 40 games and led WMU with a plus-22 rating.
Schooley later played for the Huntington Blizzard of the East Coast Hockey League, the Flint Generals in the Colonial Hockey League, and the Pensacola Ice Pilots and the Peoria Rivermen of the ECHL.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Schooley and wife Alicia have one daughter, Kaitlyn (2) and one son, Brendan (1). The family resides in Moon Township, Penn.