St. Norbert to add women's ice hockey as varsity sport for 2010-11 school year

From Sports Information Director, February 17, 2009
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

St. Norbert College will add women's ice hockey as an intercollegiate varsity sport for the 2010-11 school year, athletics director Tim Bald announced today. Women's hockey will bring the total of varsity sports at St. Norbert to 21.

Ice hockey will be the 11th women's sport added to St. Norbert's sports module. Women's swimming was the last sport added at St. Norbert, coming in the 2000-01 school year. Women's golf was added in 1997, along with swimming the only other sport begun by the college in the last two decades.

"The College is delighted to be able to move ahead with women's hockey," St. Norbert President Thomas Kunkel said. "This is an increasingly popular sport with the kind of terrific women student-athletes we want to see coming to St. Norbert."

St. Norbert will play its home games at the Cornerstone Community Center's Resch Olympic Pavilion, which is adjacent to the men's home rink at the Cornerstone, Hilliard Weyers Arena.

"With our geographic location, the growth and interest in the women's game, and the success of our men's program, women's hockey is a natural fit for St. Norbert College and adds to our outstanding offering of sport opportunities for student-athletes," Bald said.

Bald said a national search for a head coach will begin immediately. The coach will be part of the athletic department staff for the 2009-10 school year, giving the successful candidate a full year to recruit.

The women's hockey program will be a member of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association, which will have 10 teams in its women's league with the addition of St. Norbert in 2010-11. The league currently consists of Concordia (Wis.) University, Finlandia University, Lake Forest College, UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Superior. Adrian College and Marian University are both slated to start play in the
NCHA in 2009-10. The winner of the NCHA receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

"We are extremely pleased to see St. Norbert College participate in the growth of women's hockey," NCHA Commissioner Bill Kronschnabel said. "With St. Norbert's strong hockey tradition, we anticipate that its women's team will be a formidable addition to the NCHA."

St. Norbert added its highly successful men's program to its stable of varsity sports in 1988. Since then, the men's program has gone on to win the 2008 NCAA Division III national championship, as well as make 10 NCAA Division III Tournament appearances with 10 NCHA championships.

"I personally understand the challenges of starting a new program at this level," St. Norbert men's ice hockey coach Tim Coghlin said. "It's an exciting opportunity for all those involved.