COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Six of the nation's top NCAA Division I men's ice hockey programs have become founding members of the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season, the programs' athletic directors and head coaches announced today.
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference's founding members are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.
"The motivation to create the National Collegiate Hockey Conference follows recent conference realignments that affected several of our founding teams," said Brian Faison, director of athletics at North Dakota. "Our new conference was developed under the auspice of institutions that have displayed a high level of competitiveness on the ice, an institutional commitment to compete at the highest level within Division I, provide a national platform for exposure, and have wonderful history and tradition within their institution and hockey programs. The conference will be comprised of not only highly competitive, committed and winning hockey programs, but will also showcase many of the best student-athletes on and off the ice in coming years."
Dating back to 2000, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference boasts four NCAA National Champions, 14 NCAA Frozen Four appearances, 12 conference regular season championships and nine conference tournament championships. All six founding members were participants in the NCAA Ice Hockey Championship tournament in 2011.
Five of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference's schools -- 2011 NCAA Division I ice hockey national champion Minnesota Duluth, Colorado College, Denver, Nebraska Omaha and North Dakota -- currently are members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Miami competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. All six schools will continue playing in their current conferences through the 2011-2012 and 2012-13 seasons.
The new conference will begin immediate research of additional members with no specific, pre-determined limit on the final number of institutions. In addition, the conference expects to have a broadcast package in place before launching its inaugural season. The Goldwater Group and Stafford Sports will serve as the conference consultant to initially assess additional members and media platforms.
A national search for the conference's first commissioner and work on other organizational details will begin immediately.
SOURCE The Goldwater Group/Stafford Sports