MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — Robert Morris University’s NCAA Division I hockey programs are officially back for the 2023-2024 season.
RMU announced the news at a press conference Friday morning, after it was uncertain whether or not fundraising goals to restart the programs would be reached.READ MORE: As Winter Storm System Moves In, Pittsburghers Pack Grocery Stores For Last-Minute Items
“The Colonials will officially apply for reinstatement to both Atlantic Hockey for the men and College Hockey America (CHA) for the women and will provide an update on conference affiliation once a determination has been made,” RMU Athletics said.
Through fundraising and other avenues, RMU was able to secure about $2.8 million to support the programs through 2025. Seasons beyond that depend on the future of fundraising.
More than 50 players were impacted when the program was cut, many of them transferring to other schools. The immediate focus now turns to building back a team.
“Because the NCAA, because our program was dropped, they have the opportunity to come back free transfer,” said Logan Bittle co-founder of the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation.READ MORE: 1 Shot In Downtown Pittsburgh
Former men’s head coach Derek Schooley is reportedly in talks to return and a nationwide search will soon begin for a women’s head coach.
The long battle to revive the programs comes after an announcement made in May discontinuing the programs, sparking public outcry among the team’s supporters.
Since then, multiple organizations, including Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation and RMU Athletics, launched an extensive campaign, asking alumni and other people to donate to keep the programs alive.
There will be season ticket order forms available in January, which will be offered to whoever claims tickets first.MORE NEWS: Seven Springs Opens Faster, High-Capacity Chairlift
Men’s hockey seats are $125 and women’s are $75.