12/19/2013 – Aquinas College is announcing the addition of women’s ice hockey to its intercollegiate athletic opportunities beginning in the 2015-16 school year.
The women’s program will become a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I sanctioned programs. Aquinas will join the highly competitive Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association (CCWHA) which boasts well known schools such as Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, Northern Michigan University and local members Grand Valley State and Davenport.
The announcement of the women’s hockey program comes on the heels of the successful initiation of men’s hockey at the College. Athletic Director, Terry Bocian states, “The implementation of men’s hockey at the College has gone much smoother than we could have imagined. This opened the discussion on women’s hockey.” Current Saints’ Head Coach Mark VanVliet was selected to transition men’s hockey to ACHA status and will have similar responsibilities with the women’s program. “I look forward to becoming involved in the process of building a women’s hockey program at Aquinas College for talented young women who are looking for a quality education and an opportunity to be part of high-level hockey experience.” stated Coach VanVliet.
The goal of the athletic department is to have the entire women’s coaching staff on board for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. This will allow for student recruitment, program implementation and league agenda’s to be fully in place. “We are excited about the opportunity to enhance our sports offerings, allowing for student recruitment in new areas that offer women’s hockey and have our two hockey programs work together to build an on-ice tradition.” states Athletic Director Terry Bocian.