Arcadia University’s Athletics Department has announced the addition of men’s and women’s ice hockey programs, beginning in fall 2021. Arcadia becomes the fourth Division III college or university in Pennsylvania to offer ice hockey as a varsity sport, and the seventh college or university in Pennsylvania overall to do so.
“We are excited to add men’s and women’s ice hockey to our sport sponsorship offerings,” said Brian Granata, director of Athletics at Arcadia. “Even though the sport of ice hockey has seen tremendous growth within our athletic conference in recent years, the market remains unsaturated with collegiate options for players. We feel we are uniquely positioned in a hockey-rich region to develop quality programs that offer a great experience for our student-athletes. Furthermore, ice hockey affords us the opportunity to expand our recruiting efforts outside of our geographical footprint.”
The search for head coaches of each ice hockey program will begin later this summer, with the hope that the successful candidates are in place by December 1. Arcadia will hire two full-time head coaches, one each for the men’s and women’s programs, respectively.
As of September 2018, the NCAA sponsored 83 men’s ice hockey teams at the Division III level, up from 72 a decade ago, while the women’s sport has grown from 47 universities/colleges sponsoring the sport in 2009-10 to 66 in 2018. The Knights will compete against Middle Atlantic Conference schools in both sports, bringing the Conference’s sponsorship up to six teams for the women and five for the men (Alvernia University is slated to begin play in women’s ice hockey in 2019-20). Arcadia is also seeking membership in a single-sport conference that will provide NCAA automatic qualification access for ice hockey.
Arcadia has entered into agreement with Colmar-based Hatfield Ice, which will serve as the home site for both programs. The facility includes three sheets of ice, concession stand, pro shop, and related amenities. Arcadia and Hatfield are co-sharing costs for 3,200-square-feet of facility renovations within Gray Rink, which includes two locker rooms, bathrooms, showers, laundry room, coaching offices, players’ lounges, storage, and athletic training space. Construction is set to be completed by June 1, 2021.
For more information about Arcadia’s ice hockey programs, contact Granata (215-572-2955, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Following the recent addition of esports and track & field to the department, Arcadia will now sponsor 26 varsity sports (13 women, 12 men, 1 co-ed) beginning in the 2021-22 academic year. Arcadia teams have captured several conference championships in recent years, including softball, men’s basketball, and men’s volleyball in 2019. Women’s soccer joined the three conference champions in playing in the NCAA tournament this year as well. The Knights earned their highest finish in University history by placing 125th overall in the 2018-19 Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup standings. More information is available at www.arcadiaknights.com.