(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) Concordia University Ann Arbor announces the addition of men's and women's hockey programs, taking the ice in the 2018-19 academic year. Hockey will bring the University's athletic offerings to 24 teams: 11 men's programs, 12 women's programs and one co-ed program.
"Collegiate hockey, specifically NAIA hockey, is growing in popularity across the country," said Athletic Director Lonnie Pries. "Hockey is especially popular in the state of Michigan, and we're excited to provide an opportunity for young men and women to participate in this exciting sport while furthering their education."
The America Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) has announced a division for its National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member institutions who offer men's hockey programs. The NAIA division will launch for the 2017-18 season, including NAIA teams that have currently been playing under other divisions within the ACHA.
Concordia's men's hockey team will join current Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) members Aquinas College, Indiana Institute of Technology, and Lawrence Technological University in addition to Life University, Lindenwood University-Belleville, and Waldorf University in the ACHA's NAIA division for the 2018-19 season.
The women's program at CUAA also plans to become a member of the ACHA, playing in its Division I level against both NAIA and NCAA teams. Women's hockey will join current WHAC members Aquinas College in ACHA Division I as well as institutions such as Adrian College, Davenport University, Central Michigan University, and Grand Valley State University.
"Athletics is an important tool for us as we carry out our mission of preparing students in mind, body, and spirit for success when they graduate from Concordia," said Pries. "When we expand our athletic opportunities, we broaden our appeal to more students which then increases our ability to have greater impact on the world."
Concordia is in the process of hiring head coaches for both programs, looking at candidates who demonstrate and support the mission of Concordia Cardinal athletics, encouraging and assisting student athletes academically in reaching their career goals, competing for conference and national championships, and above all, producing individuals of integrity who seek to put Christ first in everything.
For more information about the CUAA hockey programs, visit www.concordiacardinals.com