MIT Eliminates Varsity Hockey Programs

Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Thursday its men’s and women’s varsity hockey programs are among eight that will be eliminated at the end of the academic year.

The school’s varsity women’s team, which started in 1999, played in the ECAC East. The varsity men’s team played in ACHA Division II and will continue to do so as a club team.

The school said the weight of a 41-sport athletics department was heavy even before today’s tough economic times.

“We make this decision with sadness and with great awareness of how painful it will be to many members of the MIT community,” dean of student life Costantino Colombo and athletic director Julie Soriero wrote in a letter posted on the athletic department’s Web site.

“The Institute has long been proud of the uncommon breadth of sports it has been able to offer, and our student athletes, coaches, and staff have shown great passion for their programs. However, we also believe that a reduction in the number of our varsity sports is essential to the quality and sustainability not only of the varsity programs that remain, but also of the athletic, recreational, and physical education programs offered to the entire MIT community.”

In 10 seasons, the MIT women’s team posted a 17-161-3 record.

Julie Sasner, a former head coach at Cornell and Wisconsin and a former assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic team, coached the team from 2002 to 2005.

MIT posted a program-best 6-15-1 record last season under coach Rick Chruschiel. It finished ninth in the 13-team ECAC East.