The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association is proud to support the National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association, the Detroit Red Wings and College Hockey, Inc., in writing a grant to evaluate the establishment of Division-I men’s and women’s college hockey programs at Oakland University (OU).
Currently, OU has American College Hockey Association (ACHA) Division-I and Division-III programs. With a new ‘feasibility study,’ it will be decided whether OU is ready to make the jump to Division-I college hockey for either or both genders.
“Oakland University’s desire to add NCAA Division I hockey is very exciting for all of us in the Michigan hockey community,” said executive vice president Kim Durka, the MAHA representative present at today’s announcement. “It’s a reflection of just how important and successful the sport is in our state, from Hockeytown to Houghton. I know there is still work to be done and money to be raised, but hopefully sooner than later young hockey players throughout Michigan will have another NCAA team inspiring them.”
On June 23, 2017, the NHL announced that the University of Illinois would be the first to participate in a study to explore establishing future NCAA Division I college hockey programs on campuses across the United States. Oakland University becomes the second school to get involved.
“We, at Oakland University, are very appreciative of being selected to take part in a feasibility study for the sport of intercollegiate hockey,” Golden Grizzlies athletic director Jeff Konya said. “We want to extend our gratitude to the organizations that made this possible, namely the NHL, the NHLPA, College Hockey Inc., and of course, the Detroit Red Wings who will be an invaluable resource as we review this potential opportunity.”
OU would become the eighth men’s NCAA D-I hockey program in Michigan, joining Michigan, Michigan State, Ferris State, Western Michigan, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State.
On the women’s side, OU would become the only university in Michigan with a women’s D-I NCAA hockey program.
“It is welcome news to hear that Oakland University is considering bringing NCAA Division I women’s hockey to Michigan,” said Jean Laxton, MAHA’s vice president of girls and women’s hockey. “Each year more than 30 young women from Michigan play Division I hockey, but none of them are able to do so here in Michigan. Finally having a home team to root for should make a significant impact on the growth of girls and women’s hockey in all of Michigan.”
Pictured: Oakland athletic director Jeff Konya, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, Michigan native and NWHL professional hockey player Brittany Ott and NHLPA representative Chris Campoli at Little Caesars Arena for the special announcement