By @MichaelCaples –
When the ice goes in at the Berry Events Center, it will have a new name.
Northern Michigan announced today that the Wildcats will now skate on the “Rick Comley Rink” in honor of the program’s longtime head coach.
Comley assembled a 538-429-68 record at NMU, with regular-season titles in the CCHA in 1979-80 and 1980-81, and a WCHA title in 1990-91. Under his guidance, the Wildcats won the 1989, 1991 and 1992 WCHA Tournaments and the 1980 and 1981 CCHA Tournaments.
He led Northern Michigan to a national title in 1991. He is one of only two coaches to win a NCAA Tournament title with two different universities after accomplishing the same feat at Michigan State in 2007.
“Larry [Heiskanen, former director of development and equipment manager] and I thought it was appropriate to put Rick’s name on the rink for what he meant to the program,” Tom Peters, a former athletics supervisor for NMU, said. “His win-loss record is obvious, but he brought stability to the program with a great deal of class, representing NMU very well over many years. Rick also served double duty as the university’s athletic director from 1987-2000. He was instrumental in securing the gift from the John and Shirley Berry to build the events arena. He also was very active in promoting the Blue Line Club, which started during his tenure. This is a positive step for NMU that recognizes Rick’s significant contributions to Wildcat hockey.”
A formal dedication will take place before the team’s first regular-season home game on Saturday, Oct. 7 against Lake Superior State – the program where Comley played and began his coaching career.
“Rick is an iconic coach and was also an exceptional administrator at NMU,” said Forrest Karr, director of athletics. “Fungo and Tom thought it would be appropriate to honor him and proposed several ideas. We talked it through and decided that naming the rink would be the perfect way to recognize Rick’s many accomplishments.”