The structure includes ten men’s and women’s teams from Chatham, Elmira, Hobart, King’s, Lebanon Valley, Manhattanville, Neumann, Stevenson, Utica and William Smith. The conference also includes the Nazareth men’s team and will welcome Wilkes men’s and women’s teams in 2018-19. Wilkes will play an abbreviated conference schedule in 2017-18.
“We are pleased to announce the formation of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference,” said Nazareth College and UCHC president Daan Braveman in a statement. “We have a tremendous grouping of academic and athletic institutions, and this will be an exciting time for our student-athletes and member institutions.”
Patricia Thompson, VP of athletics at Elmira, will serve as the VP of the UCHC and chair of the director of athletics committee.
“Establishing a new conference was a collaborative effort on the part of all of our members,” stated Thompson. “Under the leadership of our commissioner, Chuck Mitrano, we were able to move our aspirations to reality. The opportunity to incorporate our men’s and women’s programs in the same hockey conference, the infusion of new programs along with our shared commitment to provide a quality student-athlete experience were the underpinnings for creating our new and exciting UCHC alliance.”
Mitrano, currently the Empire 8 commissioner, has 22 years of experience in collegiate athletics and is in his 15th year as Empire 8 commissioner.
“I’m honored to serve as the inaugural commissioner of the UCHC,” added Mitrano. “We have an exceptional group of institutions that will make UCHC a highly respected structure in the landscape of ice hockey. We are excited to enhance the experience for our student-athletes while representing the very best values of ice hockey.”