The Nashville-based school will become the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to launch a collegiate hockey program.
The men’s team will begin competition as a club program in 2024, according to TSU, with the intention of eventually fielding both a Division I men’s and women’s team.
TSU President Glenda Glover spoke on the matter and said,
“Bringing ice hockey to Tennessee State University is a part of our continued commitment to provide our students with new opportunities and to broaden new interests in areas where they have traditionally had limited or no access.”
“We appreciate our ongoing partnership with the Nashville Predators which has played a pivotal role in our decision to pursue this historic undertaking of starting an ice hockey program at TSU, and the first for a HBCU.”
TSU participated in a feasibility study run by College Hockey Inc., an organization that aims to develop the collegiate game. College Hockey Inc., in collaboration with the NHL and the NHLPA, gives prospective schools a feasibility study to determine whether they could add a men’s, women’s, or occasionally both types of program.
The study focuses on how introducing hockey will affect revenue. In order to ascertain whether a club has practical choices for joining a league, it looks at whether schools can account for adding scholarships internally, how much it would cost an athletic department to add a coaching staff and a support staff, and a conference assessment.
TSU stated that it is in the process of hiring a director of club hockey operations who will be in charge of generating money, forming relationships with the community, recruiting student-athletes, and overseeing daily operations.
TSU athletic director Mikki Allen added,
“Together, we celebrate the power of collaboration as we dismantle barriers, diversify the game, and propel hockey into a new era of inclusivity. This partnership serves as a catalyst, driving change and ensuring that the game we love embraces the beauty of diversity.”
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