WCHA formally announces closure of men’s college hockey conference, effective July 1, 2021

Representatives of the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks recently voted to cease operations of the WCHA men’s league as a result of the departure of eight league members over the last two years.

The vote to cease all men’s league operations became effective July 1, 2021.

“I am honored and grateful to have had the special opportunity to lead the WCHA these past seven-plus years,” said Bill Robertson, who served as WCHA commissioner since 2014. “I consider my time with college hockey’s oldest and most distinguished conference one of the highlights of my sports career. As we mark the end of an era of college hockey, I wish the best to all ten outgoing institutions and all individuals who have contributed to the operations of the conference.”

“I want to thank the men’s league staff for their hard work and professionalism during the past two years of operations. In particular, Commissioner Bill Robertson led the men’s league through challenging times and is a champion for collegiate hockey,” added Dr. Dan White, chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “We also want to lend our support to the WCHA women’s league as they continue the legacy of the WCHA. At UAA and UAF, we look forward to continuing our long histories of Division I hockey.”

As a result of the decision, Alaska Fairbanks will compete as an independent program during the 2021-22 season. Alaska Anchorage will not compete next season as the university works to reinstate its men’s ice hockey program after announcing in late 2020 that it was dropping the sport.

The dissolution decision comes following the departure of seven WCHA programs – Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and Northern Michigan – for the revived CCHA next season. Alabama Huntsville was granted their request to depart the league earlier this summer.

The WCHA will continue to sponsor NCAA D-I women’s hockey.


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