Robert Morris to restore men’s and women’s hockey programs


Men’s and women’s hockey will return to Robert Morris University in 2023 thanks to a major alumni fundraising effort after the programs closed last May as part of a cost-cutting measure.

The school in the western suburbs of Pittsburgh announced Friday that both programs will return to compete at the NCAA Division I level for the 2023-24 season. The university’s board of trustees passed a resolution supporting the administration’s decision to restore hockey to the varsity level.

A massive grassroots effort has helped the programs regain a solid financial footing. Robert Morris has partnered with the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation – made up largely of former Robert Morris players and supporters – to raise funds in hopes of bringing the sport back. The school says the combined efforts have raised $ 2.8 million in “cash, pledges, and future income projections.”

“Given the passion and enthusiasm of the hockey community, we wanted to give RMU hockey fans every chance to bring the programs back – and they seized the opportunity,” said Robert Morris chairman, Chris Howard, in a statement.

Derek Schooley, who has led the men’s program since its inception in 2003 and led the Colonials to their only place in an NCAA tournament in 2014, will return as head coach. A national search will begin for a female trainer in the near future.

“I look forward to continuing the positive momentum we have established to raise money for our programs, and I am also excited to restore RMU hockey and get us back on the NCAA map,” said Schooley.

The Colonials will officially apply to be reinstated in Atlantic hockey for the men and College Hockey America (CHA) for the women.

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Naomi C. Amerson