By @MichaelCaples –
The new-look CCHA has a new-look D1 college hockey program now in the mix.
Today, the college hockey conference – set to begin play in 2021-22 – announced that they have welcomed the University of St. Thomas into the fold.
The addition gives the CCHA eight programs, as the UST Tommies joins founding members Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Bemidji State, Bowling Green and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
The University of St. Thomas, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has long been a powerhouse at the D3 level. The NCAA recently approved their request to move up to the D1 level.
“The entire membership of the CCHA is excited to welcome the University of St. Thomas as a member for the 2021-2022 inaugural season,” said CCHA Commissioner Don Lucia. “St. Thomas has an outstanding academic and athletic tradition with experienced and proven leadership as they transition to Division I. St. Thomas fits nicely within the CCHA footprint and impressed us all with the level of commitment they have for their hockey program. The CCHA welcomes St. Thomas, the Twin Cities media, and hockey fans to our league.”
They will be the lone private school in the CCHA as it stands today.
“The addition of St. Thomas is significant for the CCHA and all of college hockey,” said Forrest Karr, CCHA Management Council Chair and Northern Michigan University Director of Athletics. “Student-athlete well-being continues to be our primary focus as we work together to move the conference forward. During the application process, St. Thomas leadership demonstrated a clear vision for their athletic department and dedication to ensuring that student-athletes have a quality experience in every way. St. Thomas brings a unique combination of positive attributes that round out our conference and will make all of our programs better.”