In a news release posted on its website Thursday afternoon, Robert Morris University announced that its men’s and women’s hockey teams will not take the ice in 2021-22.
An effort has been underway to raise money to reinstate the programs with the recently-formed Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation, but according to the RMU release, fundraising has fallen short of the amount needed to field a team this coming season.
“Fundraising has been encouraging but is still short of what is needed to immediately reinstate the program and to position both teams to be financially sustainable for the foreseeable future,” RMU stated in the release. “To date, $1.34 million in total has been raised, with $754,000 in pledges payable in 2021-22 – about half what is needed to fund the teams for one year.”
Robert Morris said that it needs a total of $1.4 million in immediate contributions and another $1.4 million in pledges in order to reinstate both programs in time for the 2022-23 season. The university pointed to December 15, 2021, as the date this will likely need to be met in order to be reinstated by Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America. Further fundraising will be necessary after that to sustain the programs, according to RMU.
Robert Morris also “will in the coming weeks hire head coaches for both the men’s and women’s teams,” according to the release.
Former women’s head coach Paul Colontino was hired last week as vice president of hockey administration and U19 girls head coach for Bishop Kearney Selects and oversees both boys and girls hockey at the suburban Rochester, N.Y., Catholic high school.
Men’s coach Derek Schooley had received a three-year contract extension in 2017 that was to have run through the 2022-23 season.
Robert Morris also stated that it “will explore options for playing at an enhanced facility.”
“The university’s decision to discontinue the hockey programs was a strategic decision that was carefully considered in light of the economics of the programs and RMU’s financial resources,” said RMU President Chris Howard, who was accused of “fradulent misrepresentation” by attorneys representing students affected by the elimination of the programs.