Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s women’s hockey coach saw it coming, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t try to stop school officials from pulling the plug on the program.
Rick Chrusciel even offered to work for no pay, but the decision still came down Thursday that MIT was cutting eight varsity sports, including women’s and men’s hockey.
The Engineers played in the Division III ECAC East in women’s hockey and in ACHA Division II in men’s hockey.
“I’ve had a pretty good idea since February the program was going to be cut,” Chrusciel said. “The cost of our program is roughly $50,000-$55,000 a season, which is a little more than what it costs one student to attend MIT.”
He added: “It’s sad when a university of this magnitude has to cut a program. I approached the board and said I would coach the team for nothing but they still turned us down. I think because of the fact our income is zero and our coaching staff is part-time paid on a nine-month stipend we were the easy one out.”
The Engineers were 17-161-3 over 10 seasons, but they posted a program-best 6-15-1 record last season.
“We were really starting to turn things around here,” Chrusciel said. “We had eight incoming players for next season, which would have brought us up to almost a full roster with 18 players, the most we’ve ever had. There were a few AAA national level players in that class that would have really helped make us competitive quickly next year.”
The fate of players already in school is up in the air.
“It’s about 50/50 right now on players leaving and staying,” Chrusciel said. “A lot of the girls are at MIT in the first place for school first, but there are some players looking to transfer, which I can see.”
USCHO’s Derek Dunning contributed to this story.