10/04/2011 – Aquinas College is pleased to announce expanded athletic opportunities for current and future students as the College will begin to offer Men’s Ice Hockey starting in 2012-13 school year.
The Men’s ACHA Division III hockey program will be led by Mark VanVliet, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. Coach VanVliet has been involved with the West Michigan hockey community for over 35 years as a player, official, and coach. Most recently VanVliet served as an Assistant Coach at Davenport University. Duane Ambrose, a professor in the HPER department, will assume the assistant coaching duties.
Coach VanVliet states, “We are moving forward with the full support of the Aquinas College staff, administration, and student body. Although there is a lot of work ahead of us, Coach Ambrose and I look forward to the challenge of building a program that will enhance the proud athletic tradition of Aquinas College. I believe there is a direct correlation to the addition of a men’s ice hockey program at Aquinas and the growth, development, and success of high school and junior programs right here in West Michigan.”
The Saints will join the likes of Calvin, Hope, Davenport, and Grand Valley State in the (MCHC) Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference and will play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The Saints will continue to compete at a club level status during the current school year with a focus on building the program and the recruitment of new student athletes to Aquinas College.
Aquinas College Athletic Director Terry Bocian comments, “Hockey is an area with a lot of interest from prospective students to the College. We are excited to expand the program and offer more athletic opportunities at Aquinas.”